Writer: Jeff Stones
Date:Monday August 27 2007
Without doubt Sheffield Wednesday has some of the most loyal and impassioned fans in the whole league, but it's equally true that, with respect to their club's activities, they are also the least informed.
It's not just the recent takeover debacle, or the failure to sign new players, or indeed, the ineptness of a team who are regularly chosen to represent the club. It's the truth of the fact that this state of affairs continues week after week. Almost just as true is the sad reality that this is becoming acceptable with a growing number of fans.
Something is seriously wrong behind the closed doors of Sheffield Wednesday and I fear that it's going to get a lot worse before the club admit the real truth and why such a once proud club is heading towards the same fate as a few other clubs in Yorkshire.
As for who is to blame for the breakdown of the takeover bid, why the manager is unable to find players to play for the club or indeed, why buying a 'Lucky Bag' offers much more favourable odds, there are too many unanswered questions to make any form of judgement.
What every supporter now realises is that Sheffield Wednesday are no longer a fashionable club; where once players would have welcomed the opportunity to join the club, and even make sacrifices to do so, the fans now see the likes of Trundle, Tyson, Eastwood, Sharp (and even Fowler) join clubs of less notoriety than Sheffield Wednesday. Even players who once vowed total allegiance to Sheffield Wednesday have recently opted to join other clubs in the same league. What must the fans think? And indeed, what reasons do the management offer for decisions of these players? Needless to say, the fans are mystified and as for the management - they say very little.
This sorry state has nevertheless resulted in more than its share of discontent on both sides of the Sheffield Wednesday perimeter fence. Not only are players leaving or not wanting to play for the club, but those who remain play without any feeling or urgency. Now many supporters are actually deciding to return their season tickets or, simply, not turning up at games. Of course, all the forums are full to the brim with the same old questions, worries and concerns for the future of the club and embarrassment with the plight of the current team.
As for what happens next, I wager that continuing poor performances will not only seal the fate of Brian Laws but also that of the club too. Falling attendances, poor team performances, players wanting to leave the club, players not wanting to join the club, no financial investment, high debts and no news of the contrary etc, are all synonymous of a club heading for administration.
I hope and pray that I am wrong, but what with the unusual silence from Dave Allen and the repeated poor excuses from Brian Laws, I feel that we may have to expect and fear the worst - and then hear that it wasn't Dave Allen`s fault but the 'cretins' who support the club and that we should all be made accountable for the demise of Sheffield Wednesday.
Finally, I'd like to address the argument that Sheffield Wednesday has never been a Big Club (or even a Great Club). What is the criterion for a Big Club? And just how does a club become a Big Club? If the criterion is commercial viability, or that the club has at least 65,000 regular supporters, I would agree, Wednesday are not a Big Club.
But, I wager that there are at least 24,000 Sheffield Wednesday supporters who all share the same opinion that their beloved club IS the greatest AND biggest club in the whole world... and to me at least, that's what counts.
Date:Monday August 27 2007
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