Alan Biggs: futures of Barry Bannan and Josh Windass another headache for Sheffield Wednesday

There’ve been some good points made in the debate about Josh Windass’s future at Sheffield Wednesday that could also arise in the case of Barry Bannan.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 12:00 pm

Not so much what Windass is worth but how the club could possibly replace him - which has added a really tricky element to the question of valuation.

At face value, given a decent bid (we’ll come to that) it seems an easy call for a club justly criticised for the glaring omission of sales from its previous transfer dealings.

The result of this calamitous policy is that a whole raft of players, who cost the club close to £20m where fees were paid, left the club for precisely nothing this summer.

Both Josh Windass and Barry Bannan have been linked with moves away from S6.

But it’s not quite that simple with Windass, despite Wednesday’s current financial difficulties.

The first part - how much a player is “worth” - is easy, though. Market value is the highest amount any interested party is prepared to pay. Same for a house or car, or anything.

If nobody tops Millwall’s best offer so far, or anyone else’s - only nudging £1m apparently - then that is what Windass is worth in THIS market, clearly deflated by the ravages of the pandemic.

Wednesday then have to make a call as to what the 27-year-old forward is worth to THEM.

Potentially considerably more in terms of hopes for a swift return from League One and in that respect I totally understand the Owls’ stance on this one.

It’s not as if, currently, they could spend any of the proceeds. How do you replace a key player when you can only deal in free agents and non fee-paying loans?

Talk of a £5m valuation - denied from within the club - is nonsense. Unless it is a standard negotiating ploy or a “not for sale” declaration.

Wednesday are hardly in a position to afford the latter for any player, as their predicament shows. You also have to factor in how Windass has felt about his future amid the protracted wage payment issue.

And, although the situation is improving, we don’t know how desperately any incoming cash would be needed, in terms of flattening immediate financial issues.

That part of the equation may stop or delay what I’ve long felt should happen - which is the management team being set a budget and allowed to rule on all transfers (including player valuations) within it. Hopefully in future.

People want black and white answers on everything. For me, the Windass affair is a deep shade of grey.

Maybe the Bannan situation would be simpler, for all his value as captain and the hub of the team.

His recently signed new deal will be exceptionally lavish in League One terms - assuming there was no change in it for relegation, as the Scot has seemed to indicate - and a luxury you’d imagine the Owls can ill afford.

There would be plenty of Championship suitors but his current employers should be warned that those clubs would want to invest in his contract and not a substantial fee for a player at 31.

Again, though, how do you replace him? No easy answers to anything at S6 right now.