Mandaric insists ‘Owls fans must trust me over sale’

Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric.
Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric.
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Milan Mandaric has revealed that progress is being made in his search for new owners of Sheffield Wednesday, but is unwilling to give any time frame for a takeover.

The Serbian businessman, who rescued the Owls from financial ruin in November, 2010, has for a long time been attempting to sell Sheffield Wednesday to what he deems more suitable owners to take the club into the Premier League.

He was involved in lengthy discussions with Azerbaijan businessman Hafiz Mammadov, but that takeover collapsed in September.

It recently emerged that Mandaric is now in conversation with a Thai consortium on a buyout of the club, thought to be worth £30m.

While giving an update yesterday, the Owls’ chairman refused to divulge too much information or give specifics, perhaps mindful of the collapse of the Mammadov deal just four months ago.

The former Portsmouth and Leicester City owner said: “We are talking to very serious people and very good people.

“If a takeover happens, then great.

“It if doesn’t happen, it’s okay because we are in good shape.

“We have been talking to people, but we have been talking to a lot of people. Nothing is over until it is over.

“It could be close – it could be miles away. We will see how it goes.

“I can’t say much as it would be unfair to our supporters, myself and the potential people.

“When it is the right time and everything has been done properly, that is when something will be announced.

“Sheffield Wednesday is a great club. There are not many clubs like this one in the Championship.

“The fans have to trust me. Whatever I do, I’m doing the best for them and the club.”

Meanwhile, Mandaric has warned off Premier League clubs who are circling around two of Wednesday’s stars of their bright first half of the season.

Defender Tom Lees – a free transfer signing from Leeds United in the summer – and goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, who also arrived in the summer, have both been attracting interest, most notably from Sunderland.

But Mandaric warned: “Our agenda is different. We don’t want to sell any players. We are not a selling club.

“We want to take the club forward and without Keiren or Tom it would be very difficult.”