Sheffield Wednesday: Why Owls chairman Milan Mandaric is Mr 100 per cent

Sheffield Wednesday: Owls news and reports from The Sheffield Telegraph.
Sheffield Wednesday: Owls news and reports from The Sheffield Telegraph.

MILAN Mandaric is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve. When he says he’s in “good form” right now, you’d better believe it, writes Alan Biggs.

Yes, he’s open to offers for Sheffield Wednesday, openly so.

But it’s equally clear he’s in a bigger hurry to make the biggest possible impact while he’s around the place - and that can only be good news for Owls fans.

Sometimes a non-committal answer is a straight answer to a question. When Mandaric says he doesn’t know whether he will be fronting Wednesday for weeks, months or years he is only repeating what he has said from day one.

And in keeping the issue tantalisingly active he is also staying true to his word. When I raised the subject with him again a few days ago, he was candid once more in admitting that if he had an offer tomorrow that was good for the club then he would be receptive to talks.

It’s a mark of the respect, gratitude and affection he has commanded in rescuing the Owls that supporters are hardly willing that day to arrive. Quite the reverse - even if it does produce an influx of new money.

“I can’t answer you when it will happen,” Mandaric told me. Anyone at the table? “I don’t have anyone right now. If I had, I would look at that.”

Can’t say fairer than that. And, unlike some clubs who find their ownership in limbo, there is no slackening of commitment from the 73-year-old Serbian-American businessmen.

Yes, he confesses with equal candour, it was tested by the fall-out from an “unnecessary” tax evasion trial, culminating in him being cleared, that made him question his involvement in English football. Maybe that was an underlying reason for the careful, low budget expenditure of last season which nonetheless - due to the expertise of Gary Megson and Dave Jones and the wisdom of their appointments - produced promotion.

But Mandaric seems a fully refreshed man right now having pledged on these pages last week to deliver up to a dozen new signings. “I had a difficult year,” he said. “There was no reason for me to be in court. But I love the club here. I do everything I can and every move I make is for the club.

“It’s not for one individual and I don’t have ego. It is the supporters’ club. When I leave - whether it’s next month or next year or whenever - the supporters will still be there.

“One day, when I move, it will be because I think it is the right thing to do. I’ve just had a tougher year than any I’ve experienced in football. “But that was nothing to do with Sheffield Wednesday - it was just circumstances.

“Right now I’m in good form. We are moving forward and I’m supporting everything 100%.”