Sheffield Wednesday financial trouble: Chansiri’s latest comments as owner makes £2m ‘save club’ plea
Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri has urged supporters to raise £2m to save the club from a multi-transfer window embargo amid financial difficulties
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Sheffield Wednesday’s problems off the field continue to intensify as owner Dejphon Chansiri has publicly urged supporters to come up with a figure of £2m to help save the club, during a sensational interview with the Sheffield Star.
The controversial Thai businessman has been the owner of the Owls since 2015 and came with the intention of propelling the club to the promised land of the Premier League within two years. However, Wednesday are currently in the middle of their worst ever start to a league season and have only just registered their first victory of the campaign at the 14th time of asking. The South Yorkshire side have been through three different managers in the last five months and are already eight points away from safety in the Championship. But their problems on the pitch are currently small beer compared to those behind the scenes. Here we take a look at the latest comments from owner Chansiri and his plea for the fans to raise money.
What is happening at Sheffield Wednesday?
Sheffield Wednesday are rooted to the bottom of the Championship table with just six points from their opening 14 games - which is the club’s worst start in their entire 156 year history as a professional football club.
But the club’s problems off the pitch are even worse with the Owls facing the prospect of a multi-transfer window embargo, while existing players and staff might not be paid this month due to major cash issues.
A report from the Sheffield Star explains: “The Owls chairman has sought to tell fans who have described him ‘as a custodian only’ that this is their chance to save their club. He has outlined that the club will pay funds back when cash flow improves - with interest. If those supporters pledge the requisite funds only then, he says, they ‘have the right’ to ask Chansiri to leave the club.
Players and staff at Sheffield Wednesday are also at risk of not receiving their wages, which are due today on Tuesday 31 October.
Chansiri claims that ‘part time staff’ and ‘casual staff’ will be paid in full, along with those ‘who need help’, but claims those on higher wages both on the playing and non playing side could go unpaid.
The Thai businessman added that he would need £2m to cover the HRMC bill that his cashflow can’t cover, along with any outstanding salaries that are due to be paid.
Each day that Wednesday fail to pay their debts takes them closer to a transfer embargo - which prevents them from signing players, both on loan and on a permanent basis.
The Owls owner explained that as per EFL rules if they were to not pay wages alongside the HMRC default, that would go down as two breaches – therefore each day would count as double in terms of nearing that deadline. It is understood that clubs who accrue 30 days of persistent default in any 12-month period from July 1 to June 30 are liable to a three-window embargo, effective from the date of initial breach.
Chansiri invited fans, who describe themselves as owners to come forward and invest and claimed they would be paid back in interest.
He said:“If 20,000 people gave £100 then it’s £2m, and it’d be clear - so we can finish it. That would cover everything, HMRC and the wages. That would need to be done before November 10th if they don’t want to pass the 30 days, but that means that there can be no next time. It’d need to be before to make it safe - if it was on the fifth then there would be 10 days left… If we were to hit 30 days then we’ll get a ban for three windows.”
In September 2023, Chansiri announced that he would invest no further money in the club after protests which included damage being caused, insults aimed at Chansiri and people approaching his family. However, he has categorically denied allegations that he was deliberately withholding funds.
He added: “Why would I need to play a game? If I don’t pay my staff and they get mad with me then my club is going to be worse. If the staff don’t get money, they don’t do their job and the club is worse off.
“Why would I take the risk to make problems for my people? That is my last choice to do. I always try to protect my people as much as I can, but if I try my best and cannot do it, then my people must understand. If they don’t understand then I cannot help that. I can create trouble since Covid if I want to, I did not do it. You do not understand how important this club is to me and my family. I have been here nine years and it is a part of my life.”
Supporters have been campaigning against Chansiri in recent months but claims fans only have the right to ask him to leave if they can raise the funds.
He added: “If you don’t want to save your club, then don’t call yourselves the owners and me the custodian. If you save your club, then you have the right to ask me to leave. There is no need to make it complicated. I could leave no issue. That is the easy way. I have tried my best for almost nine years, I try everything even in the Covid situation with no revenue. If I wanted to make it bad, I would have already left. I don’t need to be here.”