Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri hits back at Owls legend Chris Waddle

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY owner Dejphon Chansiri has fired a broadside in the direction of Owls legend Chris Waddle and urged him to be more ‘professional’ in his opinions after describing the situation at Hillsborough as ‘a mess’.

In a radio interview last month, Waddle slammed Chansiri and spoke of a chaotic off-the-field scenario at his former club, while stressing his belief that the Owls supremo has a ‘lot to answer to’.

The Owls are embroiled in an ongoing legal case with the English Football League following a misconduct charge.  

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The club could be hit with a range of sanctions including a hefty points deduction after being charged by the EFL for breaking spending rules after the controversial £60m sale of Hillsborough to Chansiri.

Sheffield Wednesday chairman and owner, Dejphon Chansiri. Picture: Steve Ellis

Wednesday are vigorously defending themselves against the charges.

On fierce criticism from Waddle, Chansiri told Yorkshire Live: “My answer to this if anyone has something to say, which is fine, then please be constructive and with respect.

“Chris Waddle does not know how the inside of our club works, he knows very little about the Sheffield Wednesday of today other than our position in the table.

“Would he be saying the same thing if we were still in third place? What experience does he have of running a football club?

Chris Waddle

“I understand he is a legend of the fans but he should think more if he is trying to influence people. He should be more professional.

“Does he have the answers to his questions? It is too easy to just criticise. I don’t mind anyone having an opinion, but please have respect and the facts.”

Chansiri’s response came after withering criticism in an interview on BBC Radio Sheffield from media pundit Waddle, widely viewed as one of the greatest-ever players to represent the club.

Waddle said: “It’s just chaos and to me, it starts at the top. Chansiri for me has a lot to answer to.

LEGEND: Chris Waddle, in action for Sheffield Wednesday during the 1993 FA Cup semi-final against arch-rivals Sheffield United.

“He should be the one, it’s easier for fans to turn on managers and players, but it’s about time he gets it sorted out. The club has to be run better, it’s chaos.

“From the outside looking in, it’s a mess, to be honest with you. He’s the man at the top.

“He can’t take criticism but that’s what you get at the top of a football club. He runs the football club, he’s got them in a mess and he has to get them out.”

Meanwhile, Chansiri has announced his intention to pass on the running of the club to his son at some point in the future, while reaffirming his commitment to the club.

The Thai businessman’s reign at Hillsborough has been a tumultuous one since acquiring a 100 per cent stake in the club from Milan Mandaric for £37.5m in January 2015.

Chansiri was tantalisingly close to seeing Wednesday achieve their declared target of promotion to the Premier League by 2017, with the club being losing finalists in the Championship play-off final of 2016 and bowing out at the semi-final stage in the play-offs at the end of 2016-17.

Since then, Chansiri’s tenure has proved rather more turbulent, with the club placed under a soft transfer embargo between April and August 2019 under the EFL’s Profitability and Sustainability rules.

Wednesday were then hit with a misconduct charge from the EFL after selling their Hillsborough stadium to Chansiri to try to avoid breaking spending rules.

But despite a tough last few seasons, Chansiri intends to remain at the helm.

Chansiri, who revealed he has turned down ‘substantial bids’ to take over the club in the past, said: “Today that is my intention.

“Everything in life can change very quickly, you only have to see what is happening around the world right now.

“But today I am happy and I wish to pass our club to my son.

“I said from the very start that while I am here, I will try my best to help Wednesday to succeed and I am still thinking the same today. 

“There are no guarantees, but now I am the owner and chairman and I will give 100 per cent until the day arrives when that situation may change.

“Many people have wanted to buy the club and I have said no to substantial bids in the past.

“The future is the future, nobody knows what will happen in football.”