Date:Sunday August 13 2006
Paul Sturrock's future as Sheffield Wednesday boss remains unclear this week after Chairman Dave Allen told BBC Radio Sheffield listeners he will not offer the Scot a new deal at the club until Christmas at the earliest.
Sturrock's three-year contract at Hillsborough comes to an end next September, but the Owls Chairman has refused to open discussions over a new deal - prompting the Owls boss to criticise Allen on the local radio station for coming public with the news and 'destabalising' the club.
The rift comes at a difficult time for the Owls, who have failed to pick up a win in their opening three matches of the new Championship campaign and netting just once from the spot along the way. The current injury crisis at S6 has led to calls for the Owls Chairman to dip into his pocket and provide the funds to bring a much needed striker to the club.
Sturrock replied to Dave Allen's comments on BBC Radio Sheffield after the Burnley match, saying that Allen has 'destabalised' the club in a difficult period by making the news about his contract public. He also insisted that he's met all the targets that have been set since joining the club in September 2004.
Sturrock guided the Owls to promotion from League One via the play-offs in a remarkable first season at the club, which through many supporters opinions saw Wednesday promoted a 'year too soon'.
The former Plymouth Argyle boss then achieved survival in his first season in the Championship - a target set at the start of the season - despite a number of long-term and short-term injuries to key players throughout the season.
Sturrock wants to see steady progression at the club and set a mid-table achievement for the current season. Although the Owls have only picked up two points from a possible nine in their opening three games, many fans believe the football played has been a vast improvement from recent seasons. All this with the continuous injury problems that have kept key players such as Deon Burton, Marcus Tudgay, Richard Wood, Steve Adams, Yoann Folly, Peter Gilbert and Wade Small out of the side.
As well as pointing uncertainty towards a new deal for Sturrock at Hillsborough, the news also seems likely to end any possibility of extra funds to boost Sturrock's playing squad for the current campaign. After all, if Allen is still deciding over Sturrock's future, then would he really give him extra funds for players he may not even be managing in a years time?
The Owls have been crying out for a striker, whether it be on loan or on a permanent basis, and the Owls gaffer has said he will sit down with the Chairman to discuss possible signings. The need may be even greater if the Owls only fit striker, Steve Maclean, receives bad news about the knee injury which saw him taken off in the weekend draw with Burnley. This meeting is looking more and more unlikely to come to fruition.
Looking at things from a Dave Allen perspective, the news is likely to keep the Owls boss on his toes up until the Christmas period, but is this good news for the club or just more unecessary pressure on a manager already doing a job with his hands tied? What if Wednesday are 10 points adrift of safety when the new year comes around, will fans be so sure of Sturrock's capabilities then?
Whatever way you look at it, it's certainly going to be another eventful season at S6, and one that YOU can have YOUR SAY ON by visiting the Vital Sheffield Wednesday forum by clicking HERE.
Date:Sunday August 13 2006
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