Fans pleased with Milan pledge to stick by Owls

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WEDNESDAY fans have welcomed Milan Mandaric’s commitment to the club.

The chairman’s denial of claims that he was interested in buying Glasgow Rangers dispelled any fears that he would not be giving the Owls his full attention.

Nigel Short, chairman of fan group Wednesdayite, told The Star that he was never unduly concerned over the claims because it is possible for someone to own two separate clubs in different countries, though not in the same country.

“If it had been another English club, I would have been concerned,” said Short.

“If he had co-owned Wednesday and Rangers, I was wondering if Rangers would have been a feeder club for us?

“I’m pleased that his attention won’t be diverted from us - that was my only concern.

“There’s still a big job to be done at Hillsborough - he’s the one who can do it.”

At the end of the court case where Mandaric was cleared of tax evasion, the Owls chief indicated that he would have to see if his enthusiasm for the English game was waning, because of the way the unjust allegation had affected him.

Short sympathises, because he had the worry of a lawsuit for three and a half years when the Wednesday regime a few years ago tried to sue him for alleged defamation. The case was dropped.

But he came back refreshed and feels that Mandaric will have done the same.

“I lost enthusiasm but went away on holiday and when I came back I was fine,” said Short. “I never lost my love for the club.

“If he had that thing on his back for five years, I can fully understand Milan Mandaric’s feelings more than most, because of what happened to me.

“But he’s a football man. Football is in his blood. I think he’ll come back feeling even better than before. with a great enthusiasm.”

Some media outlets claimed yesterday that Mandaric was one of several parties who had registered with Rangers’ administrators an interest in buying the club.

But the Owls chairman reacted by saying: “I am aware of and shocked at the media reports linking my name to an inquiry over the potential purchase of Glasgow Rangers.

“First and foremost, I can categorically deny that there is any substance to these stories and I am disappointed that such articles are printed without any foundation whatsoever.

“I have never had any dialogue or contact to anyone relating to Glasgow Rangers.

“Glasgow Rangers is a huge football club with a great heritage and history, but I already have that that here at Sheffield Wednesday.

“For clarity, I have not instructed any of my associates to register an interest in the administration process at Glasgow Rangers and I have no interest, now or in the future, of becoming involved in the club.”

David Coupe, who was chairman of the now disbanded Wednesday Shareholders Association, has welcomed Mandaric’s vow to stick with Hillsborough.

He said: “I think the guy is genuine. I hope he fulfils what he’s said he’s going to do. He hasn’t let us down yet.

“We’re not where we want to be yet. I’d love him to take us to the Championship and to the Premier League. If it’s Milan Mandaric, brilliant,

“If it’s somebody else who comes to the club and does it, fine.

“I welcome his commitment; though if he’s got that much money and commitment, perhaps we’re disappointed that we haven’t had one or two quality signings that we needed.”