Milan Mandaric has warned new Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri he will have to spend big to make their Premier League dream a reality.
The 76-year-old agreed to sell the Championship club at the start of the month to Thai businessman Chansiri in a £37.5m deal.
Chansiri, whose family owns Thai Union Frozen Group, is aiming to lead the Owls back into the top-flight by 2017 to coincide with their 150th anniversary.
And Mandaric, who reflected on his time in charge of the Owls yesterday, is convinced that Chansiri will bring the good times back to the Hillsborough club.
He said: “While there is no guarantee we will be promoted next year, there’s a better chance with Dejphon Chansiri.
“He will accelerate the club’s financial needs. He loves the club, it’s history, and want the club to be in the Premier League.
“Nobody wants to buy a club to stay in the Championship.
“If you are ambitious you have to lose money, it’s been £5-6m a year for this club.
“You have to accelerate that now, maybe lose more but make it happen and get to the Premier League, where this club belongs and needs to be.”
Mandaric is confident Chansiri will support Owls boss Stuart Gray in the transfer market, saying: “I am quite sure the new owner will spend some money, but he is not going to waste money.
“He’s a very good businessman and knows money is going to be needed, but he’s not going spend money without it being invested money.”
Mandaric, who rescued the club from the threat of administration in 2010, believes the Championship has “changed a lot” since his love affair with English football began 16 years ago.
“It’s more competitive and a stronger league,” he said.
“Bigger demands on the quality and you need a lot more money.
“Money is dictated from the big guys. Players may say “This guy in the Premier League makes £150,000 a week, why can’t I make £30,000”, and a Championship budget is £10,000.
“It’s a stronger league, better football, and very competitive.
“You can see now in the Championship you have 12 teams who still have a chance to be promoted come March.
“Even now there are still eight teams, it’s incredible. It’s a great league to be in, but this club needs the Premier League.”