Sheffield Wednesday are facing a massive rebuild job in the summer whatever division they happen to be playing in, but that would be further heightened by relegation to League One.
At the moment the Owls are very much on course for the dreaded drop to the third tier of English football. Darren Moore would need to pull off a major turnaround on the field for them to recover from back-to-back defeats in his first two games in charge. That leaves them needing to claw back a seven-point deficit to Birmingham City, who occupy the final spot above the relegation zone.
There have been reports this week that the Owls are in talks with a number of out-of-contract players. That comes as they desperately try and get to grips with a situation that has reflected the poor management of the club.
Having as many players on the last few months of their deals all at once is not good for the football club, and Liam Shaw has already been pinched by Celtic as a result.
One such player who Sheffield Wednesday are reportedly in talks with over a new deal is Adam Reach. The former Middlesbrough man is heading into the last few months of his deal thought to be worth around £23,000-a-week (Salary Sport). That puts him unsurprisingly amongst the club’s highest earners.
Barry Bannan, who is also amongst the highest earners, has recently put pen to paper over a new contract at Hillsborough. Questions need to be asked if the Owls can seriously sustain keeping his wages alongside Reach’s for next season, if they drop down to League One.
Keeping Reach on the wage bill might well hinder Moore’s ability to rebuild the squad in the summer. A rebuild is going to be required with the Owls unlikely to keep hold of all of their out of contract players. While if they are relegated, they will need players used to the challenges of that division.
Reach is already believed by Football League World to be attracting the attentions of both Cardiff City and Watford. Sheffield Wednesday might need to re-think their stance over his situation and accept that whilst it would be a blow to lose him on a free transfer, it might well save the club money for a rebuild job that might pay off more handsomely in the long-term.
The club as a whole seems to be acting as though they can carry on as though their current situation is not so perilous. Relegation is a real possibility and planning should be going in case that happens.
If the club feel they can afford to keep Reach in League One and still rebuild the squad then great. If not, they need to seriously think about him signing a deal in the hope they do not go down.
There will of course be the argument that keeping Reach and getting him to sign a new deal would allow them to recoup a transfer fee for him if they go down.
However, Dejphon Chansiri has always been reluctant to cash in on players in the past, with Jordan Rhodes a prime example. So, there is no guarantee they would take that sensible approach if the worst happened.