Chansiri issued a statement accepting responsibility for the club’s relegation to League One, but gave no indication he intends to take the backseat role the Trust is calling for.
The Owls finished bottom of the Championship, relegated by three points after having six deducted for their conduct over the sale to Chansiri and lease-back of Hillsborough in a failed attempt to avoid financial fair play penalties.
The owner’s statement made no reference to this, but the Trust’s did.
It noted that Derby County, who stayed up at Wednesday’s expense on the final day of the season, had also sold their ground to their owner and leased it back. “Derby County managed to get this right, Sheffield Wednesday did not, and it seems this act of gross incompetence is a contributing factor to our relegation”, they argued.
The Owls completed the deal outside of the three-year cycle where they were due to lose more money than permitted under Football League rules, but claimed it had been done in time.
Chansiri is the Owls’ only board member although he does have a network of unnamed and therefore unaccountable “advisers”. The club has no director of football or chief executive, putting huge power in the hands of the owner/chairman, who takes the lead on recruitment – another area where Wednesday have been found lacking this season.
Amongst the Trust’s demands was for the Thailand-based owner to take a step back and allow a “modern, forward-thinking structure” to run the club and produce a clear long-term plan.
They also called for more affordable tickets and greater engagement with supporters and the Sheffield community in general.
“We need to see our club rebuilt and refreshed with a new approach that is fit for purpose,” it said. “We need a credible strategy for leadership, a new plan to stabilise the club and then move it forward. Without this the demands from supporters for Mr Chansiri’s departure, and for new ownership, will grow louder and louder.”
For his part, Chansiri said: “As your owner and chairman, I take full responsibility for everything that happens at our club. I am the leader and in good times or bad, the responsibility for Sheffield Wednesday lies with me. I am sorry to you all that we have been relegated.”
His statement focused on manager Darren Moore as the man to lead the rebuilding.
Moore was the third manager to work for Chansiri in 2020-21, as well as a lengthy spell as caretaker-manager by Neil Thompson.
Moore said after Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Derby he will be back next season but it is the structures and the leader above him fans are most unhappy with.
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