So, where to begin? This article is going to be a selection box of sorts covering various things Sheffield Wednesday related. Now that the dust has potentially settled following the Fan’s Forum, I think now is the right time to say my piece to possibly clear a few things up that some people have asked me about.
I wasn’t going to attend the Fans Forum on Wednesday evening as in a room packed full of people, my anxiety is relentless. So, I didn’t apply to go or anything. However, whilst following on social media I felt there were some inaccuracies told, which also was the case at the last meeting too, which I attended. I posted a few tweets to go against what had been said, and as I’m not someone to just spout off on social media I communicated with the club and was permitted to go down to the stadium.
I arrived at the forum just minutes prior to a break, but during that break the chairman came and confronted me at the back of the room. I can’t recall exactly what he said but he wasn’t happy with what I had tweeted. I responded with something along the lines of “don’t give me that attitude” and while many may see this as disrespectful from either of us, or both, it’s something I expected.
Following the break the chairman and I went on to have what some would call heated words as we spoke direct at the forum. While some say heated, I’d prefer to say there was some passion in there, and this is what I’ve come to expect from the chairman, a man who I actually like.
As I and the chairman both mentioned during the forum, we have met and talked numerous times and everything that was said, seen or heard has all happened previously. The chairman will always stand his ground against me and I will against him, it’s just the way it is and while we don’t see eye to eye on some things, we do on others.
On the chairman, a man I know quite well, I feel he’s a very good person who at times I have had genuine concerns about as I know how much he loves this football club and how much it affects him with how things are and how things have been for quite a while. I often get the feeling he is alone on this journey and that worries me.
I’ve not felt comfortable in writing what I want to write for over a year as I do feel that it’s a case of not biting the hand that feeds when it comes to Sheffield Wednesday in many respects. I’m also running the Quidagoal project, one which the club supports, but felt this could be put at risk slightly if I said anything that SWFC didn’t like. I wanted to be true to myself though and if the club want to take a dislike to anything, then there’s nothing I can do about it.
So, onto Amadeu Paixao, the reason for the heated discussion and a constant cause for disagreement between myself and the chairman. I want to start by also saying that the chairman has often said to me thanks for being “more professional” as I hadn’t mentioned Amadeu on social media. When I have mentioned him in the past, he always comments and says that his people have told him I had mentioned Amadeu again. In a way, I felt like I couldn’t mention him, but looking back I think why shouldn’t I?
I 100% believe that the dramatic decline of Sheffield Wednesday post Wembley has a lot to do with recruitment and I also believe Amadeu Paixao has played a key part in what has been a disaster. Following Wembley, Amadeu become the chairman’s only advisor and confidant, with any other connections provided through Amadeu himself.
As I have mentioned before, Amadeu has connection to Shaktar Donetsk. He took his client, Paulo Fonseca there as manager and also brought Joe Palmer to us, initially as a potential CEO but he became the club’s COO instead. It has also been suggested to me that Amadeu and Katrien Meire were connected prior to SWFC and it was through Amadeu’s German contacts Jos was suggested.
Following our Wembley defeat, we brought in players on big wages, spent cash in the wrong areas, and failed in my opinion to land hardly any of the then head coaches’ targets. Why were Wednesday always taking forever to get deals done? Why did they often break down? Why did things happen very late in the window?
It was shit or bust for Wednesday in 16/17 and with absolutely zero thought long term, we failed to get out of the division and things have gone downhill ever since. The fact we haven’t been a club to sell players, but we’ve been a club to spend money, especially on wages has meant prices have sky rocketed as the club try and reduce the losses they are making. This coupled with poor commercial performance has left the club in a sorry state in my opinion. Poor footballing business has driven us to this point.
I think the chairman is a good man who has been taken for a bit of a ride myself. Amadeu has possibly learned the chairman’s personality and taken advantage of him. The problem you have is when you have a football agent as a sole advisor, they will have their own agenda, and not the club’s best interests at heart. I have long said that the chairman needs proper people around him and he does, more so than ever.
He can’t do this alone, and he won’t be able to turn this into a success with Amadeu Paixao alongside him. He can still make a good job of things at this football club, and while he has said it’s for sale, it seems very much like emotions got the better of him and this isn’t the first time this has happened. I respect that he’s a unique character, but I feel sometimes those next to him should point him in the right direction a bit more. We’ve seen this kind of thing before e.g that late night statement.
There’s been a real them and us kind of vibe at the club for a while now, you could say for the last 18 months or so. I’ve always felt that we all need to come together as one if we’re to move forward, but all that seems to happen is further divisions are built. High prices and and under performing team are the driving force but I think there are steps the club can take to try and slowly bring everyone back together.
A football club is a community, but Wednesday doesn’t have that feel to it right now and it hasn’t done for a while. It doesn’t feel like it’s part of the community either, with the club seemingly doing their thing and the fans their own. It shouldn’t be about doing the odd thing every other home game, we should all be coming together, working in unison, for the greater good.
Sheffield Wednesday are a club people should be proud of, but we seem to go from disaster to disaster, many of which are preventable. Let’s stop being reactive and start being proactive. Let’s think outside of the box and make this club great again and one that people feel proud to support and happy to be there through the good and the bad.
My final thoughts are these. The chairman is a good man and one I’ve been happy to spend some time with and I think he can realise his and our dreams if he listens more and remains objective. He needs some help and he needs proper football people. I wish him all the success going forward.