Sheffield Wednesday: Mandaric backs Chansiri to learn English game quickly

Milan Mandaric with Dejphon Chansiri
Milan Mandaric with Dejphon Chansiri

Dejphon Chansiri is a quick-learner and his knowledge of English football is developing all the time, according to former Owls chairman Milan Mandaric.

Immediately after completing his takeover of the Championship club last March, Bangkok-based businessman Chansiri confessed he had much to learn about the beautiful game.

Chansiri, whose family owns Thai Union Frozen Group, suggested his son Att’s love of football played a big part in his decision to acquire a 100% stake in Wednesday. It is the first time Chansiri has owned a football club and Mandaric has warned his friend may make some errors as he bids to bring the good times back to Hillsborough.

Mandaric, the former Portsmouth and Leicester City owner, told The Star: “I think Dejphon [Chansiri] is learning fast about the British game. He’s very enthusiastic and I am confident he will do well for the club.

“Along the way, he may make some mistakes whether it is selecting people or recruiting players. Unfortunately, we all sometimes make mistakes.

“I have got huge experience in English football but brought in some people who I shouldn’t have. But people forgave me because I made the right moves.

“The Sheffield Wednesday fans were patient with me and I hope they will be with Dejphon.”

Mandaric took over Wednesday four and a half years ago. He stabilised the club financially, with the highlight of his tenure being their promotion back to the second-tier three years ago.

It was with a heavy heart that Mandaric decided to handover the reins to Chansiri, who has recently appointed Carlos Carvalhal as his new head coach, earlier this year. He cares deeply about the Owls and would have loved to have taken them up himself. When he can, Mandaric intends to come and cheer the team on next season.

It is also in the Serbian-American entrepreneur’s financial interest for Wednesday to be successful. There will be added extras for Mandaric if Wednesday end their 15-year top-flight exile.

“I have a big bonus if they go up so I have a vested financial interest,” he said. “I will feel good if the club get into the Premier League and that I put them in the right hands.

“It would emotionally be huge for me as it would be another Leicester. I sold them to good people and it took them three years to go up but they learned quickly.”

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