Sheffield Wednesday - Owls Chairman Addresses Supporters
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Owls Chairman Addresses Supporters

Wednesday's 'stand-in' chairman Howard Wilkinson has broken the club's silence over the administration fears at Hillsborough through an open letter on the official club website.

The Owls had yet to comment over the speculation regarding the future of the club but, with Wilkinson meeting members of the press this afternoon, the Owls chairman has addressed fans directly.

It reads, in full as taken from

I wish to confirm to supporters, that today at the High Court, the winding-up petition brought against the Club by HMRC has been dismissed.

There has been a lot written and said about us, HMRC and the Co-operative Bank in the past few days and I want to address Wednesdayites directly about what has been happening and what it means for the future of our Club.

First and foremost, I wish to thank the Co-operative Bank for coming to the support of Sheffield Wednesday when we needed them most. Although the medium to longer term financial health of the Club is moving in the right direction, we have had a major short term problem.

HMRC have, quite rightly, been targeting the football industry and the reality is that we have needed help from our bank to pay our outstanding bills. The Co-operative Bank have acted diligently and shown great understanding in their discussions with Nick Parker and myself in recent days and when this club needed them most, the bank demonstrated this in the way they supported and backed Sheffield Wednesday.

I do wish to place on record my thanks to all those people who have shown their genuine and solid support for Sheffield Wednesday in recent days. In particular, I would like to thank our Chief Executive Nick Parker, who has worked tirelessly with me to get a resolution to this matter.

There were many others, who when the chips were down, demonstrated their real allegiance in other invaluable ways. Nick and I have certainly discovered who we could really rely on in the past 48 hours! I would also like to thank everybody, from both in and outside of the club, who has passed on their messages of support to me in the past few days.

Just discussing the possibility of administration has made me even more determined to do everything that I can to avoid this club, our club, from being docked ten points. The positive work that has been done at Sheffield Wednesday over the summer, both on and off the field, must not be undermined.

Too many people truly care about this club for us to allow it fail. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted by the politics and history of how Sheffield Wednesday has ended up in this situation! We must now focus on steering the club through the many challenges that still lay ahead in order to ensure we emerge stronger than ever.

Let me be clear about one thing. The dismissal of the winding-up order only brings to an end our most pressing problems. We now need everyone who truly cares about the club to rally together and do what they can to help. For Alan and his team, this is to continue the fantastic start that they have made to the season, and for our supporters it is to remain firmly behind the team and cheer them on to victory.

I would like to believe that the discussions of the past few days have certainly focused minds. It is true to suggest that potential investors have played a part in the dialogue with the Co-op Bank. Words of support, of course, are always welcome, but as in the real game, actions speak louder than any words and action is what we need to see now! The club is now set up to throw off the problems of the past. Our friends and potential partners know what can be achieved here, but we need investment, not words or promises!

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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 8 2010

Time: 1:59PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I find that last sentence very interesting. Some one with a boat load of cash certainly needs to step up to the plate.
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08/09/2010 14:02:00

didnt really go into any details. where did the grant money go? how can we keep relying on the bank to bail us out? how can one of the countrys so-called big clubs be in such a dire position for the last decade. A new board would create such a new wave of optimism. Anyways, its done for now, 3 points against carlisle is the main thing now.
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08/09/2010 14:52:00

I'm not sure what we're supposed to make of this statement. It doesn't really say anything that we didn't already know. It just seems to infer that if those interested in investing don't do so soon then we'll be back in this position again in the very near future. I don't think its Wilko's fault but it does sound like without imminent investment administration is just around the corner. It makes you wonder how long the board will be picky about the offers they get. First we sell players on the cheap to pay a few bills and soon it looks like we'll sell the club in the same way. Seems to me that the players and the manager have done their part of the bargain but the running of the club remains a mess. We don't really have a clue what is going to happen in the near future and I reckon the board doesn't either. They've presided over a huge financial mess and now they seem to be relying on someone coming along and giving up loads of cash to make everything ok again. The Co-Op sound like they have been amazing but no-one can blame them if they tell the board to get lost the next time they come begging for more money to pay bills when we already owe them millions upon millions. At the moment, we are just an example of how not to run a football club.
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08/09/2010 15:26:00

Some of the investers have been ok`d by the bank it`s them on the board that have said no just to keep their backsides at the table, now the bank have helped us out again it should be them that ok any investment going though as they have the most to lose
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08/09/2010 16:02:00

in addition to my last 1 or 2 members of the bank should be placed on the board to look over the running of the finances and make sure the club is being run right
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08/09/2010 16:06:00

what the ***** is going on?
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08/09/2010 16:39:00

seriously starting to run out of patience with this current board like anybody on here i put my money into the club i.e am a season ticket holder and have brought the new shirt so were does it all go why dont the club tell us that ?
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08/09/2010 19:03:00

Just listened to Howard Wilkinson speak for nearly 20 minutes on Wednesday player and say absolutely nothing that inspires any confidence. I just hope that father Ted can sheild the players as much as possible but I fear we will have to sell more players in January.
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08/09/2010 19:22:00

Not good at all, down the sewers and into a sxxt Tank this club has gone, Didnt renew my season ticket, thank god, I know that's some o the reason we pstruggle finacially but why should I pay good money into something that doesn't pay back, my young boy of 5 is a man city fan,it's 5 mins to travel to citys ground rather than an hour, I'd rather putt money into that large cash pot thankyou!!! Enough is enough I've been an owl all my life, been through it all not doing anymore,
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09/09/2010 06:38:00

Just wish to point out that it was on the advice of the bank that Wednesday skipped the Paye tax bill in the summer and ended up in court. The bank is so mired up in our debt that they may have had no choice but to keep us afloat. How much would they lose if we went into administration? Regardless of that this club has been run by clowns for too long (no reflection on HW who is trying do his best by the club, as did LS). Time for change but will it ever happen?
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09/09/2010 11:46:00

I find it difficult to comprehend why the bank ever thought of not backing the club. As has been said, administration would make them the absolute biggest losers, no doubt. I just want to know where all the advanced season ticket money went, and more recently where has the money gone from the Grant deal. Totally mystified, but at the same time not suprised by anything happening. HW is right not to dwell in the past. Joe Ashton really ought to keep his mouth firmly shut. He was involved when Dave Richards was there and the debt went out of control. He stood up at the Octagon Centre in front of the shareholders and baled Richards out, when he had dug the biggest hole the last time there was a buyout to be approved.
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09/09/2010 11:56:00

what the hell is going on with our club.I am a Owl to i die living in London.We must be the only club in the football world with so many people and offers wanting to invest.(why has it not happened yet).Bloody city took three days,ours is taking 3 years.We have had everyone from Geoff Sheard to the Russians,and the Yanks.Someone tell me what the hold up is for god sake.If it wernt for Wilko and Nick were be doing a Leeds all over again.Forgive me for asking but our board run our club so why dont they dig deep in there own pockets(thats what they take a salary for ant it).If your gonna take and dont invest go do one
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09/09/2010 13:43:00

At least when LS was in charge we had a regular dialogue and were kept in the loop. I do wonder if the Board members are still able to add value in their roles, or whether now is the time to stand aside?
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09/09/2010 17:25:00

OWL25, that's right, give your money to Man City, they need it more than us LOL!!! Any one of City's first team is a mulit millionaire and could probably buy Wednesday!!
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09/09/2010 17:25:00

Sussex i thought exactly same as you, what is up with some people today letting the sons support a different team to what you do, it was never heard of in my day, OWL25 have you gone raving mad, i wonder OWL25 if your son would have been as quick to jump on the Man City bandwaggon a few years ago when they were in the third tear just like we are, or is it just a excuse.
ecco owl
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09/09/2010 21:37:00

What is the world coming too? Football in general is a complete shambles full of money grabbing players and agents etc etc. Thats why clubs are in so much debt in the first place. What ever happened to this WORKING CLASS sport, full of decent, hardworking players who just loved to play footie... Now the working class supporters need to take out a loan just to go with the kids on a saturday afternoon. And as for the goings on at S6..... speechless.... no comment.... UTO WTID or should that be I'm Wednesday Til They're Gone!?! The clock is ticking...
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09/09/2010 22:12:00

I cannot understand why us loyal Wednesday fans have to read everyday in the papers or look on here,and learn about us going down the the pan.Who can tell me with inside knowledge why everyone wants abit of us but knowones dug deep yet.When you read about all these other clubs it's done in a few days,us its still going on after 3 years what the hell is going on.
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10/09/2010 07:30:00

I think Wednesday are playing a very dangerous game of cat and mouse.The Co-op bank told wednesday not to pay the tax man a couple of months ago then have to bail the club out in a 12th hour rescue. Dont think anybody will ever invest in a club with so many problems
vic mobley
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11/09/2010 11:15:00

Heard Dobson is days away from pumping money into the club?can anyone shed any light on this?.Also what happened to Club 9 i thought they were coming back with the 5 million needed.Who are these other parties anyone know?
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12/09/2010 15:04:00


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