Former Sheffield Wednesday defender John Newsome has suggested that the Owls are going to struggle to get out of League One next season given the major turnover in players that is to come.
The Owls have already confirmed within their retained list that as many as ten first-team players will be leaving the club this summer following their relegation. That includes high earners such as Adam Reach, Tom Lees, Keiren Westwood and Jordan Rhodes. Those departures will help to address some of the financial implications that relegation to the third tier will bring about.
Darren Moore is going to have to look to bring in replacements for those departing players, and those are likely to have to be players on much lower wages and with more League One experience. According to the Daily Mail, the average wage of the highest-paid players in the third tier is around £4,753-per-week. Those are the sorts of numbers that Sheffield Wednesday need to get down to.
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Speaking to Transfer Tavern, Newsome suggested that the Owls are going to face a very difficult task in terms of getting themselves out of League One next season. He believes that their current wage bill is unsustainable in the third tier and that the number of changes in playing staff will make it challenging for Moore.
He said: “Obviously, it’s a really difficult league to get out of. Look at Hull City, who’ve done an amazing job, dropping down last year and they got a promotion the first year back, there’s not many clubs that do that.
“It’s going to be a really difficult task to get that club out, especially when you look at the rotation of the squad, the number of players who are leaving, the high earners.
“They’ve got a massive wage bill at Sheffield Wednesday at the moment, I’m led to believe it’s in excess of £20 million a year as a wage bill. That’s not sustainable in League One.
“The club’s revenue will fall by a minimum of £8 million just by dropping down into that league. There’s going to be a massive turnover of footballers at that club.”
If Newsome is accurate regarding the size of the Owls’ wage bill at the moment then they will be in massive financial trouble in the third tier. The loss of revenue that will result in their relegation will make it very hard for them to continue to pay out those kinds of fees. However, the departrues of several high earners is the right first step in addressing the issue.
Sheffield Wednesday need to be very smart with their business in the transfer market this summer, and you would expect Moore’s knowledge of the third tier to come into play. He will have the ability to identify the right sort of players within the Owls’ budget and that means there is a chance that they can enjoy a strong season next term.
However, as Newsome suggests, it is always a major challenge to bounce back from the third tier. Hull City have done it this season and then Rotherham always seem to be able to do it as well. However, bigger clubs like Sunderland and in the past the likes of Leeds United have struggled to get back into the Championship as a result of the overhaul needed to their squads.