Having spent heavily across the last few seasons as Sheffield Wednesday chased promotion to the Premier League and a return to top-flight football, it’s long been known and understood that this year the club were looking to trim the wage bill, move high earners on and give us a more stable financial footing.
With confusion surrounding the deal for Frederico Venancio where it was believed we already had a buy clause in his loan from Vitoria Setubal, that soon turned into reports of failed bids as we followed up our interest and then frankly silence – the summer has seen departures, plenty of speculation, but no incomings with a more youthful feel to our pre-season preparations and starting lineups.
With Financial Fair Play regulations well known, the lack of incomings has led to speculation of its own as to whether or not we had been placed under an embargo by the EFL and when questioned about that the Sheffield Star have manager Jos Luhukay basically dodging the question.
Speaking following the pre-season friendly defeat to Villarreal at the weekend, he said.
“I don’t know. For me, it is important that I have trust in my team and players. We have now worked five weeks together. I trust my team and players so I’m not unhappy.”
Pressed on whether fans could expect permanent signings or just loans ahead of the big kick-off, Luhukay claimed it wasn’t his ‘position’ to answer ‘these questions’ and he would give a response as to whether we needed to sell more players before he could wheel and deal.
If you read into one of his other comments though, you can argue he’s not best pleased with the situation and that might yield all the answers fans want in many ways.
“This is the first time, after 22 years as a manager, that I work with the same team from the start of pre-season to the new season but it is how it is. I must respect the situation. I try to have patience, and I have trust in the way I work with my team every day. That gives me the motivation to work very intensively with them. Hopefully, we can find a good start to the season and have success with each other.”
I think Owls fans will have to draw their own conclusions as the Star contacted the EFL for comment and their response was ‘no comment’. It appears plenty already have done just that.
— Dom Howson (@domhowson) July 29, 2018
Yep, I have asked the question.
— Dom Howson (@domhowson) July 29, 2018
It's interesting how some clubs are good at comms with fans & others, well, you know what I mean! I have a colleague who is a pro comms officer who has worked in football, local gov and private sector and he's fab at finding innovative ways of selling bad news! #swfc take note
— David Ridge (@DRidge67) July 29, 2018
Do you think there be any EFL announcement to state this type of embargo? How can Wednesday move past this? Why do you think the owls are saying nothing? Could it be a simple case of holding fire on signings rather than a possible conspiracy theory based embargo idea?
— James Chapman (@cheekoreeko) July 29, 2018
1) No – it’s not an embargo for a clear, unsolvable breach (they always announce those). It’s a “show us you’re moving towards compliance and you’ll be good – but i the meantime we won’t let you register new players” sort of thing, judging by Garry Monk’s comments about B’ham.
— Peter A. Løhmann (@ploehmann) July 30, 2018
Premier league parachute payments have created two leagues within the championship, how is that fair play? If owners want to put money in and lose it to compete with the parachute payments then that should be their choice
— GeeBee (@grahambarber66) July 29, 2018
Cause we are. There’s no point trying to cover it up
— Craig G (@CraigGamb) July 29, 2018
If he’s happy with Liam Palmer at RWB he’s either not got a clue or we are under an embargo, surely if not he can’t be happy with Palmer at RWB
— THE MAIN MAN (@kopowl1991) July 29, 2018
We’ve still got a great squad the best thing for us this summer was to get rid of some high earners that we could afford to lose I love Westwood but I’d rather lose him with the cover we have than lose one of our better players like fessi or bannan
— luke gillis (@lukegillis1) July 29, 2018
Makes little difference Dom….if embargoed we sign nobody…If not embargoed but borderline we probably sign nobody…the one thing for sure is the money going out is being turned off & we're in for a tight budget for season or two and/or sales.
— Mark Hope (@owls_4life) July 29, 2018
How can a manager not know if they are under a transfer embargo. Unreal
— gareth hammonds (@hammy911) July 29, 2018
That’s YES then, which manager wouldn’t know the answer to that question? Been told to keep his trap shut so as not to upset the fans ????
— Peter William (@Longtrop1) July 29, 2018
Just read between the lines it's obvious that we are. 'first time in 22 years I've had to work with the same team pre season and start of season, but it's the way it is'
— Sean Cuckson (@sean2479) July 29, 2018