Sheffield Wednesday focus on player search

SHEFFIELD Wednesday's need to appoint a new chairman is taking second place to their hunt for new players.

Chief executive Nick Parker has revealed that the priority for the club is helping manager Alan Irvine to shore up a depleted squad.

Howard Wilkinson has taken the chairmanship only until the start of next season; he and Parker are both backing up Irvine's attempts to at least fill the gaps left by the release of six squad members this summer.

The Owls functioned without a chairman for 14 months after Dave Allen quit in 2007.

Lee Strafford took over in January, 2009, with Parker becoming chief executive, after both had joined the board a few weeks earlier.

Parker says: "Before Lee arrived we didn't have a chairman. I don't really see it as a big problem.

"Though obviously we'll look at it, it's not the most pressing issue: that is getting players in, and it's what I've been talking to people about."

Irvine is leading the scouring of the transfer market and hoping to land up to eight new players. Ideally he wants to make signings in time for the start of pre-season training in a month's time.

Meanwhile, the Owls have sold 10,460 season tickets, with the final deadline for discount sales having expired on Monday.

The final sales figure is set to rise by the time the 2010-11 campaign kicks off. Tickets remain available at non-discount prices, and the club are continuing to offer interest-free credit.

Most of the sales achieved so far took place before relegation. Prices were subsequently cut and partial refunds offered to those who had already bought tickets.