Sheffield Wednesday: Stuart Gray plans first meeting with new boss Chansiri

Glenn Loovens
Glenn Loovens

Stuart Gray already knows what he will say to new Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri when the pair meet as boss and employee for the first time.

Thai canned tuna tycoon Chansiri is still awaiting ratification of his takeover from the Football League.

But discussing the budget for next season will be right at the top of Gray’s agenda for their maiden meeting.

The Owls head coach is keen to sort the futures of several key players before contracts expire at the end of the season.

“I am probably 90 per cent sure in my own mind what I’ll be saying to the owners,” Gray said. “I have to find out what budget I will be working to and whether some lads can come into that budget.

“The most important thing is sitting down with the new owners once the takeover has been ratified and speaking to them about the direction I want to take the club in the short and long term.

“The players will want to know what’s happening.

“Once the takeover has been sorted, the agents will be ringing up and finding out what’s happening with their clients.

“I’ve got one eye on today and one eye on tomorrow.

“I have a good idea on who I want to keep but the players will be the first to be told.”

One player Gray will be particularly keen to keep is captain Glenn Loovens who has forged an extremely successful partnership with Tom Lees at centre half.

Loovens’ one-year deal expires in the summer and is now free to speak to other clubs about his future.

Gray will be determined to prevent the Dutch defender from having his head turned.

Other first team regulars out of contract this summer include Kieran Lee, Jose Semedo, Joe Mattock, Jacques Maghoma, Giles Coke and Chris Maguire, plus Lewis Buxton – who has started just three games this season due to injury – and second choice keeper Chris Kirkland.

Fringe men whose deals are set to expire include Gary Madine, Kamil Zayatte, Paul Corry, Rhys McCabe, Dejan Kelhar and Rafa Floro.

Losing players he would like to keep is a headache Gray did not have to suffer through before the transfer window closed.

There had been speculation that the Owls would be raided from the Premier League for Keiren Westwood and Lees but bids failed to materialise.

Gray said: “We must be doing something right if other clubs are interested in your players.

“We didn’t want to lose anybody and we have got a lot of competition.

“We only had enquiries for loans but they didn’t materialise.

“Whether that happens again when the emergency loan window reopens, we will see what happens.”

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