Alan Biggs: Milan vows to do what it takes

Alan Bigg Telegraph
Alan Bigg Telegraph

Milan Mandaric is back in full hands-on mode.

“I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do,” says Sheffield Wednesday’s chairman, admitting today that a takeover is becoming a false hope.

Mandaric is typically belligerent in facing a bleak outcome to the scenario suggested here last week - that the club’s buy-out prospects had reached make-or-break. Sadly, for the fans and an overburdened owner, it looks like the latter.

But Mandaric pledges: “What I’ve got to do is keep the club afloat... finance it... get it out of a slump. And it will happen.”

He also insists, ahead of a vital derby at Barnsley, to keep giving “patience” and “support” to manager Dave Jones, backing him to lift the only Championship side still without a win clear of the drop.

The Sammy Yu Chinese bid is finally heading towards the buffers.

“There is only one party, the one you’re aware of,” Mandaric tells me. “There are other people but I don’t think they’ve got the money and I’m trying to protect the club from rumours about tyre kickers.

On the Yu group: “I think they’re as close as they were four months ago. They did due diligence and didn’t find anything wrong. We’ll keep the door open to see if there’s more serious money than we’ve seen so far.

“But if I was a betting man, I don’t believe it will happen if we’ve come to this point.”

The 75-year-old Owls owner admits results have hit his plans: “People want to look at a club going up, not down.”

But he promises to pick up the load, perhaps triggering more loan signings, adding: “I have tremendous respect for our supporters and I can’t go away.

“To be honest, I’m really unhappy with our results. Nobody is hurting more than me. But we all have to be positive and patient.

“We’ll get out of this. The team is playing well and giving support to the manager.

“I know I’ve been criticised and called trigger happy in the past but I never want to be. It’s not right to change for the sake of change.

“I haven’t got my head in the sand either. I’ve got to be strong and would urge supporters to stick with me. Dave Jones is a good manager who’s done good for us.

“Okay, these two years have not been my best and I think Dave feels the same way.

“But I just believe the results are around the corner. I’ve seen the games. We need to give support and he’ll get there.

“There’s a big desire to win. I want to do the best for the club and it will happen.”

Mandaric’s commitment can hardly be questioned.

“It took me four days to buy Sheffield Wednesday – it can happen quickly,” he said, puzzled that a much simpler takeover has become a timewaster.

It’s in everyone’s interests to know where they stand. Mandaric certainly does.

Sheffield United: Character is key for Nigel

Nigel Clough is a man for today, tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.

His record is everything Sheffield United’s currently isn’t. They are right for each other.

Clough commits. Burton Albion: 11 years as boss,

Derby County: four years (only ending in the sack).

Clough also did longevity as a player: Nine years under dad Brian at Forest, three at Liverpool, two at Manchester City.

He is to become the Blades’ seventh “permanent” boss in fewer years. That sequence has to stop.

Nigel’s ex Forest team-mate Brian Laws told me in the book we wrote together last year: “He always came into work separately from his father.

“We could talk about Cloughie and know Nigel wouldn’t react.

“He wouldn’t go off telling tales.

“He was no daddy’s boy and was accepted as one of the lads.”

Clough junior has none of his dad’s brashness but he’s a big character inside.

Boy, do United need that – for the foreseeable future.