Reporter Alan Nixon drops a worrying Dejphon Chansiri update that will outrage Sheffield Wednesday fans, as if relegation wasn’t enough.
The owner is yet to pay the the Owls playing staffs’ wages for the months of March and April, meaning they haven’t had a paycheque since February.
It would seem that the issue is now continuing going into the summer and this long running saga doesn’t appear to bode well as the club try to prepare for what will be a big summer of changes with Hillsborough hosting League One football for the first time since the 2011/12 season.
Any potential transfer target Darren Moore may have will likely be put off by Chansiri’s history of not paying his players. There also could be repercussions that the EFL could impose on Wednesday if the situation is not sorted out promptly.
The Yorkshire outfit are still under a transfer embargo as a result of their previous financial troubles, it would seem unlikely that this would be lifted if Chansiri has still not managed to sort the club’s money problems.
If the owner simply does not have the money to pay his players – many of whom have now left the club upon the expiry of their contracts – questions must be asked regarding his ability to continue running Sheffield Wednesday.
It comes weeks after the Owls Supporters Trust made an explosive statement, who have demanded for change from the very top at the club.
The open letter, sent to the club, reveals a series of ‘priorities for change’ on various matters ranging from ticket pricing to the handling of the club.
The Trust, a board made up of a range of figures including former manager Chris Turner, former Owls communications manager Steven Chu and football finance expert Dr Dan Plumley, had previously sent an open letter to Chansiri in February expressing their concerns for the future of the club.
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The statement in full can be seen below:
“Although relegation to League One has been expected for several weeks, expectation does not lessen the pain now it is confirmed. The twelve, and ultimately six, point deduction we began the season with cast a cloud over the season before it began.
“The two Independent Panel hearings confirmed that the points deduction was imposed, not because the sale of Hillsborough was outside of the permitted rules, but simply because the paperwork associated with the sale was not submitted to the correct deadline.
“Derby County managed to get this right, Sheffield Wednesday did not, and it seems this act of gross incompetence is a contributing factor to our relegation.
“To add insult to injury, in pursuing its strategy to avoid a points deduction our club has ultimately lost ownership and control of its historic home. Rather than playing there for free, the club must now pay £2.5m in rent for each of the next 30 years to continue to play at Hillsborough.
“With significantly reduced income in League One this is a huge sum to factor in annually and will take precedence over player wages.
“We fear the club now faces a real crisis that has been building for four years whilst those in charge of the club have done little to avoid it. As Steve Chu, a member of our Advisory Panel, recently commented on Twitter, “Sheffield Wednesday has become a team without enough heart, and money without a soul”.
“In December 2020, almost 6000 supporters signed an open letter to the club, penned by the Trust, seeking urgent and substantial changes in the way it is being run. In response the club set up a fan engagement panel that has met twice.
“Although welcome, this limited response to a much broader problem was not acceptable then, it most certainly is not acceptable now that relegation is confirmed. Wholesale changes are needed at our football club. You can read our letter to the club here……
“Relegation to League One presents huge challenges on and off the field. The only way any positives can come out of it are if it acts as a catalyst change. The priorities for change are:
“- Mr Chansiri to take a clear step back from the running of the club; instead adopting a modern, forward thinking structure that is likely to include a new Chairman, a CEO and non-executive board members in place to lead and manage it.
“- Implementation of a long-term strategic plan for the club; that plan must be focused on sustainability and building the capacity of the club so that it can operate successfully in a challenging environment.
“- Affordable ticket, merchandise and hospitality pricing that attracts fans and businesses to the club rather than repelling them.
“- Effective engagement with supporters and the Sheffield community, so that we all feel “we have our Wednesday back.”
“The Trust is owner neutral. This is not about Mr Chansiri personally. We would be making the same arguments if the club were owned by another individual whose leadership and management had been equally disastrous.
“Business organisation at SWFC, whereby the positions of Owner, Chairman, and effective CEO, are held by one person, (Mr Chansiri), plus only having one board member, has now been demonstrably proven to have disastrous consequences.
“Leadership and management at our club needs to change. Fans now need to see and hear from Mr Chansiri on what he intends do to ensure that our club does not drift further into crisis.
“We need to see our club rebuilt and refreshed with a new approach that is fit for purpose. We need a credible strategy for leadership, a new plan to stabilise the club and then move it forward.
“Without this the demands from supporters for Mr Chansiri’s departure, and for new ownership, will grow louder and louder.
“SWFC Supporters Trust Board – May 2021”
“As your owner and chairman, I take full responsibility for everything that happens at our club. I am the leader and in good times or bad, the responsibility for Sheffield Wednesday lies with me. I am sorry to you all that we have been relegated.
“This was never what I anticipated when I came to Hillsborough in 2015, my vision was to take Wednesday into the Premier League. We came so close in 2016 and then again in 2017 and since then the times have not been so good at all.
“In football, in sport, there are highs and there are lows and right now, this is the lowest I have felt and I know you will be feeling the same. There are no guarantees in football, we have tried our best but our best was not good enough. We must now face the reality of what lies ahead and for next season at least, that is League One.
“We must pick ourselves up from the floor and move forward in a positive way. We have had plans for both scenarios and now our immediate future is clear, we can start to put those plans into place. I can pledge that as chairman, I will give everything I can and offer as much support as possible to everyone as we try and achieve promotion at the first attempt. There are issues we must address in the short and long term and some things will not happen overnight.
“Darren Moore will be the manager for sure and the moment I mention Darren’s name, I must wish him all the very best as he continues his recovery from illness. Health must come before anything else, as this past year has taught us more than ever.
“I would like to say thank you to the coaching staff who stepped up in Darren’s absence and also to everyone who has worked so hard during what has become one of if not the most challenging season in the history of Sheffield Wednesday.
“It has ended in the worst possible way but we have to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. We will rebuild on the pitch, and off it, the day when fans return cannot come soon enough. I say thank you to our fans, it has been soulless without having you following the team home and away and I know all clubs say the same but we have missed your support so much.
“Like all of you, I hope that life can return to normal soon and in football, that will mean having our fans back into Hillsborough and following the team around the country in the numbers that you do.
“You do not deserve this end to a season that in so many ways we will want to forget but in others we can look back on in time as a turning point for the revival of our club.”
Some Twitter users reacted as the reporter drops a worrying Chansiri update that will outrage Sheffield Wednesday fans…
Great news when we need 14 new players in 6 weeks 😢
— Barx (@sam31405869) May 19, 2021
@Burtmania10: Absolutely shocking that.
@LifeIsPeachy82: I’m sure players will be lining up to join a club when they don’t get paid on time. Chansiri is a disgrace.
@lewnami: Jesus Christ almighty