From the Ritz to the Rubble: SWFC’s start to the season worst in team history

Sheffield Wednesday's woes expand beyond the pitch, painting a picture of a club deep in turmoil with no obvious escape routes

Jodie Steer
28th November 2023
Image: Twitter- @HLTCO
Sheffield Wednesday’s fairytale ending last season, coming back from 4-0 against Peterborough to win on penalties in their rematch before beating Barnsley in the playoff finals, now seems like a fever dream to fans as we face the bleakest start to a campaign the club has ever seen. Chansiri on the rocks, two managers in three months, and bottom of the table with a nine-point deficit from safety – is there even an ounce of hope left for SWFC this season?

Fans were devastated at the shock exit of Darren Moore over the summer after his management carried us back to the glory of the Championship, galvanising the squad with a purpose unseen since Carvalhal coached Wednesday to the playoffs for the second time in 2017. Following this, Chansiri stalled in the appointment of a new manager, eventually settling on the bizarre signing of Xisco Muñoz, whose singular successful season at Watford was then dogged by a reputation for losing the dressing room.

Meanwhile, Chansiri endorsed a series of low-rate signings, making no attempt to hide his plan to complete the season on the cheap. This culminated in a horrific opening as Wednesday faced recently relegated Southampton with a squad who hadn’t yet played together, trying to navigate an unfamiliar formation with four at the back - a big change from their preference of Moore’s successful 3-5-2. Unsurprisingly, Munoz was quickly sacked after apologizing for his failure to maintain the upward trajectory sparked by Moore.

Although the general consensus of fans is a tentatively positive one in response to the signing of newcomer Danny Röhl (SWFC is his first managerial job after success coaching at Bayern Munich and Southampton), relations with Chansiri are in dire straits. His custodianship over the club has repeatedly been challenged and criticised in recent years, catalysed by his role in the six-point deduction which led to Wednesday’s demotion to League One following his purchase of Owlerton (Hillsborough), a decision that had already sparked uproar.

Chansiri released a statement earlier this season in response to some fans’ insults towards himself and his family, slating the entire fanbase and reiterating his refusal to sell. Despite Chansiri’s right to defend his family from slander, his retaliation to the entirety of the club has led to the 1867 Group’s petition which calls for Chansiri’s sale of the club in order to save SWFC’s future.

This vitriol is particularly poignant succeeding Chansiri’s bizarre statement that fans should each pay £100 in order to settle his tax debt, which he then paid only a few days later. Fans have shared their concerns that Chansiri’s refusal to sell has a sinister and malicious motivation: that if he’s going to drown, the club is going with him. One supporter recently posted on Owlstalk, SWFC’s fan forum, “(Chansiri) is in the process of destroying my football club. I find that terrifying.” All fans can do now is wait in the hope of a clean slate for Wednesday that will restore the team to their former glory.

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