Sheffield Wednesday: Thai takeover raises hopes of top-six tilt

Lewis McGugan training at Hillsborough yesterday.
Lewis McGugan training at Hillsborough yesterday.

The grey clouds hovering over Hillsborough have been lifted.

Hope and excitement have replaced the pessimism which threatened to engulf Sheffield Wednesday.

Seven days ago, the Owls were booed off the pitch following their goalless draw at home to Birmingham City, a result which severely dented their faint play-off aspirations.

Fast forward to today and Thai businessman Dejphon Chansiri’s £30m takeover of the Championship club has given them plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future, although the buyout remains subject to ratification by the Football League.

It was pretty evident after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Reading that Wednesday boss Stuart Gray urgently needed to reshape his squad and Chansiri, whose family owns Thai Union Frozen Group, the world’s largest producer of canned tuna and one of the biggest worldwide general seafood producers, handed him sufficient transfer funds in the January window to make a real difference.

Much to the joy of Wednesdayites up and down the country, Owls recruited four new players on transfer deadline day, capturing Sergiu Bus, Marnick Vermijl, Lewis McGugan and Portuguese midfielder Filipe Joaquim Melo Silva. Three of them have moved to South Yorkshire on a permanent basis. Seafood tycoon Chansiri also bankrolled the loan additions of Lewis Baker and Will Keane.

If the new arrivals can quickly gel together and help the team get on a roll again, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they could still make a late charge for the top-six.

McGugan, on loan from Watford until the end of the season, told The Star: “Whenever a football club is taken over, it gives everyone a new lease of life, including the players, the staff and fans.

“It can only benefit the club and I think everyone is excited at what the future holds. Everyone wants to be part of it.

“We have signed quite a few players and that will help bring the best out of everyone. Everyone wants competition. That’s the way everybody likes it.”

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