Sheffield Wednesday: Forward-thinking Owls bank on three wise men

Dejphon Chansiri welcomes Glenn Roeder (left) and Adam Pearson (centre) to the club
Dejphon Chansiri welcomes Glenn Roeder (left) and Adam Pearson (centre) to the club

Three experienced, wise heads are better than one.

That is what the Owls are banking on after unveiling a “ground-breaking” new management team, who have set their sights on leading the club back into the Premier League after a 15-year absence.

“We all have to pull in the same direction. We cannot have one person rowing the other way because we end up going in a circle.”

Glenn Roeder

Speaking at a media press briefing yesterday, chairman Dejphon Chansiri confirmed that Adam Pearson and Glenn Roeder will work alongside head coach Stuart Gray as part of a new three-man football committee at Hillsborough.

Pearson and Roeder, both named as advisors to Thai businessman Chansiri, will work closely with Gray as part of the Wednesday’s summer recruitment drive and help off the field to ease the workload on the former Northampton boss.

Chansiri said “many” people applied for the full-time roles but insisted Pearson and Roeder were the “strongest” candidates.

Now Pearson, the former owner and chairman of Hull City and Derby County, and Roeder are set to meet Gray in person this week to discuss their ideas on how to take the club forward and the duo are confident the innovative management model will bring them success.

“It is probably ground-breaking in this country but hopefully he [Chansiri] has appointed people that have experience and maturity to be able to handle it for him,” said Pearson, who owns Rugby League club Hull FC but has stressed his new role at Wednesday will have no bearing on the Super League club. “It’s a fantastic project to be involved in and I am really intrigued by it.

“The chairman has invested a huge amount of money in a very big football club and wants to make sure he doesn’t make any mistakes. Therefore, he is trying to surround himself with people who are like-minded and want to take the club in the right direction.

“I firmly believe that it can work. For an owner to come in and invest huge amounts of money into an industry where he has not got specific knowledge, I think for him to not recruit industry specialists would be a mistake.

“To make it work, you’ve got to get the right balance of personality and trust within the team. It’s up to Glenn [Roeder] and myself to create that with Stuart so we are all working off the same page. It’s a challenge but I think with the personalities we have got, I think that’s eminently achievable.”

Pearson’s duties will include dealing with agents and advising on the commercial side of the business while Roeder, who has previously managed Watford, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Norwich City, will concetrate specifically on football and be charged with scouting players and identifying potential transfer targets. For Roeder, he hopes other clubs in England will follow in Wednesday’s footsteps and adopt the new concept.

“This committee is something that I really believe in and I think English football has been behind on this situation,” said Roeder. “Too much is expected of the manager to do everything.

“It’s a new innovation to have three people on a comittee. We must make it work because I’m a great believer in this is how a modern football club should be run.

“Most football clubs around the world have a director of football, a sporting director and they are very successful.

“Some teams aren’t successful but we are the slowest nation in world football to adopt this principle of head coach, coaching the team, and a director of football/sporting director helping to recruit new players for the coach.”

But he stressed: “We all have to pull in the same direction. We cannot have one person rowing the other way because we end up going in a circle.”

Pearson, who has held a range of senior executive positions in football and the wider sporting community, has expressed his gratitude to Chansiri over bringing him in and is looking forward to the challenge of transforming Wednesday’s fortunes.

The 51-year-old has dismissed suggestions his and Roeder’s arrival will slow down the decision-making process.

“The danger is there are too few voices in football clubs,” he said. “The chairman is very clear he wants to have expertise across a number of different areas on players who are coming in and deals that are done on behalf of the club.

“He [Chansiri] is frighteningly ambitious and that attracted me because I would love to be part of putting a club back into the Premier League that can they go on to make an impact in the Premier League and this club certainly can do that.

“We report directly to the chairman; we are his personal advisors and take that role very seriously

“We are working alongside Stuart and are not here for any egotistical, self gratification or personal interest. We are here to make this club a great club again.

“I think we have got the bases of a good team and if we all work hard and work in the same direction, I’m sure we will get what we want.”

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