Date: 4th May 2010 at 12:56pm
Written by:

The dust has settled, slightly, and the realisation has pretty much set in – we’ll be playing League One football next season.

Although Sunday afternoon hurt, it was far from surprising – we deserved to go down after a season in the Championship which has left me embarrassed, sad, angry and somewhat disillusioned throughout.

Still, to be relegated against your relegation rivals on home soil, in front of a full house at Hillsborough and on national television hurt like hell.

The sorrows were well and truly drowned on Sunday night but the realisation didn’t really kick in until Monday afternoon, back at home after the Bank Holiday weekend and with time to reflect.

It was a realisation of huge disappointment.

The last time we dropped to League One it was with a slight excitement for something ‘different’. Of course, I was hugely disappointed back then, but League One was a bit of a novelty, if you will.

Now we’ve been there and exprienced it, and how difficult it is to get out of, the feeling is ten times worse.

It’s almost as if I’ve been working on a huge project at work for the last three or four years, only to find the folder containing it all disappear and having to start all over again.

That’s the task that lies ahead in the third tier of English football – it won’t be pretty, it’s going to be a slog, and it’s going to be a ‘job’ of getting out of it, rather than an enjoyment.

But, after taking it all into consideration, it’s also a chance presented to us to wipe the slate clean, in terms of playing staff at least, start a fresh, and try and make it a step back to take two steps forward.

There’s no other way to look at it.

Of course, it’s hugely disappointing and not what anyone wanted in a million years.

It’s scary to think that we could be in that league as long as we were last time, as long as Nottingham Forest were and as long as Leeds United have been.

But you can also draw comparisons to Leicester City, who did so well in bouncing straight back and finishing in the Championship play-off spots this term.

Forest, too, have enjoyed success this season after climbing out of League 1 not too long ago.

Sure, they have more money than us and it’ll have been a huge help in getting them to their current, relatively lofty, positions.

But there’s nothing to say that we can’t enjoy similar success in bouncing back and bouncing back quickly.

With the wage budget we’d have had in place in the Championship next season, you could see more struggle at the wrong end of the table.

Maybe Alan Irvine could have worked a minor miracle in getting us into the top half of the table, but a betting man would have surely put the Owls down in the bottom half of the table – something matching the wage bill for the squad next term.

Instead, we should be working with a budget that’s up there in the top five or six in League One – something which will give us a good chance of making at least the play-offs.

In turn it may mean the crowds at S6 aren’t down too much, if at all, on possible attendances in the Championship.

Of course, this depends wholly on success, but the last time we were in League One and winning, our crowds were as good, and even better, than recent seasons in the Championship.

People will watch a winning team, whatever division they’re playing in – and League One gives us the chance to win more games than we would have done at Championship level.

What’s done is done, relegation will still hurt for a while – hey, it’s going to be a long close season (but at least the World Cup will numb the pain – or add to it!) – but the focus now is on the future of the club and the need to return the Championship as soon as possible, maybe even in a stronger position.

Like Irvine has said, we may need to take a step back to take two forward as a club.

I’m not looking forward to League One one bit, but I’m already eager for the new season to start so we can, hopefully, see a new Wednesday come out and give us a team to be proud of.

Wednesday ’til I die…