It’s never dull being a Wednesday fan, and this has proven to be the case once again, with a restructuring of shares taking place. There have also been four new companies set up with the chairman the sole person involved with each of them, at the time of writing, and while the full picture is yet to form, there are observations to be made.
I feel this whole mess could have been avoided, or not been as big of an issue if we had sold footballers and not prevented their sales by overpricing them. Hindsight is a fantastic thing, making it vital that mistakes are unlikely to be repeated. I’m fully aware we’ve sold Stevie May, Rhoys Wiggins, Marnick Vermijl and Jack Hunt for fees while the chairman has been at the club, but there has undoubtedly been a severe lack of trading out where footballers are concerned.
If we had sold footballers for fees, the losses incurred by the club would, of course, have been less, which would likely have seen us is a much better situation financially. As I said, hindsight is a beautiful thing. I’ve personally been aware of us demanding ridiculous prices for players over the last few years, something which seems to have continued into this summer.
From good sources in the past, I’ve heard of a £5 million fee demanded to secure the services of one of our fullbacks for example, and when you add this to the reported demands for Jordan Rhodes, Lucas Joao and Fernando Forestieri, you can see why moving players out has been an issue for a long while. There have also been instances of teams coming in with reasonable offers, for us to demand a substantial amount more, or to add unrealistic clauses and extras, which have then caused negotiations and deals to break down completely.
While some may suggest that this is the way to negotiate, to start high and then meet in the middle, I’m inclined to think that if it was the plan over the last few years, why haven’t more deals out of the club happened? There must be a realistic approach moving forward where player pricing is concerned, and in my opinion, Steve Bruce and his staff are the ones best placed to determine player valuations and the like.
We as a club must learn from our mistakes, mistakes which have undoubtedly cost the chairman many millions of pounds, and errors which have also seen supporters paying a premium for most things. As I said, the chairman is correcting the mistakes of the past by pumping in many more millions into the club, a club which he has already injected plenty of cash in to since his arrival in 2015.
You cannot fault or question the chairman’s commitment to the club, in my opinion. He doesn’t only commit to Sheffield Wednesday financially but gives a lot of his time to the club too. He spends a lot of time away from home and away from his family, which I imagine is hard work for him, and I think most supporters are grateful and thank him for his ongoing commitment to our club as the current custodian.
However, I’ve seen a few people on social media questioning where the chairman’s critics are now, with the suggestion being that he’s somehow bulletproof because of the money he has and continues to inject on Sheffield Wednesday. I’ve personally praised and criticised the chairman over the years, not just on social media, but in person and direct to him. Mistakes have been made and spending copious amounts of cash shouldn’t mask this.
Nobody is perfect, nobody goes through life without making mistakes, but the chairman, the people around him and the club itself need to learn from mistakes of the past. Otherwise, things will never improve, and it will end up costing the chairman many more millions to try and correct.
On the whole accounts and new businesses situation, it’s not for me, and this is because I believe it didn’t have to get to this stage. However, if this is the only way to put things right, so be it, as long as it works and puts Sheffield Wednesday in a better position this summer than previously expected.