Alan Biggs: Sheffield Wednesday need sustainable foundations before League One promotion push

Of the many sticks used to beat Sheffield Wednesday’s owner with, resolving to “try and win promotion at the first attempt” in League One should not be one of them.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 12:00 pm

Whether overly-optimistic or not at a time of fear for the club’s future, it was at least a sign of Dejphon Chansiri’s commitment to keeping it afloat in the stormiest seas.

And when a club of Wednesday’s size and stature is relegated to the third tier, anything less than an ambition to bounce back quickly is seen as unacceptable.

You have to aim for it whether it is achievable in a highly competitive league or not.

Hillsborough Stadium.

Yet I believe there is an even bigger prize than promotion at stake for the Owls next season.

It is stability and a sense of heading in the right direction, a measure of progress, however gradual.

I think this is what supporters are demanding even more than a swift return to the Championship.

They understand where the club is at and the reasons for it. New foundations have to be built around a revamped structure whereby it is more professionally led in the football department and more sustainable as a business.

Get those two things right and eventual success should follow.

One of Chansiri’s shortcomings last season was, I believe, a pretty baseless conviction that the Owls could aim for the play-offs once six of the 12 points were returned.

Manager of the time Garry Monk was understood not to believe that and to have said so. Credible sources believe that is what cost him his job.

I can’t defend Monk’s record but his realism, with the stake squad he had, was right and events bore that out.

So I think it would be dangerous and counter-productive for anyone to demand instant promotion of Darren Moore next season.

I don’t blame Chansiri for aiming for it but expecting it is another matter. Frankly, on a rebuild of free-agents and loans I would be surprised if it happened.

Where there is realistic hope is that, with Moore’s knowledge of the level from his Doncaster days, Wednesday can compete.

Finally, the recent appearance on my Sheffield Live show of Chris Turner and Brian Laws, in which both ex Owls bosses made genuine and unconditional offers of help to Chansiri, seems to have spoken for most fans.

And let’s make one thing clear. They are NOT applying for jobs, however suitable they might be. As passionate and concerned supporters, they are simply volunteering free advice - to an owner who needs plenty of the right sort.

Qualifications don’t need stating to any football-aware person. Playing in the top flight under managers including Sir Alex Ferguson, Ron Atkinson and Brian Clough is for starters.

They both have managerial promotions and Wednesday are lucky to have these, and many famous football names, in their corner. It is a resource to use, not alienate.