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I.T.I

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  1. Almen Abdi is still struggling to train on consecutive days, Carlos Carvalhal has revealed.The Sheffield Wednesday midfielder has endured a torrid time since arriving at Hillsborough last summer, lacking in both form and fitness. A long-standing knee injury continues to trouble the 30-year-old, restricting his time both on the pitch and the training ground. “He trains one day and then has to stop for two,” head coach Carvalhal explained. “He is not ready to play 90 minutes and he is still a player who is progressing. “He is in a very good way however.” Abdi played almost 70 minutes of last week’s Carabao Cup triumph over Chesterfield but was an unused substitute for Saturday’s clash with Queens Park Rangers. He impressed against the Spireites, as Carvalhal attested: “He was more near the Almen Abdi we have expected since last season.” After joining from Watford for a reported £4million last August, Abdi went on to make only 16 appearances – starting 11 games – scoring once. When asked if the Switzerland international will have a point to prove when he is finally available to play regularly, Carvalhal said: “When he joined us last season, he came down from the Premier League and expectations were high. “He had a really bad season. “But he is pushing and trying to get into the team. “He has a problem with his knee but he is going better and better.”
  2. Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan has disagreed with Carlos Carvalhal over the head coach’s assertion that the heavy fixture schedule played a part in the Owls’ dropping points over the holidays.Disappointing performances against Preston North End and Wolves led to dropped points but, perhaps crucially, Wednesday stretched their unbeaten run to five games. Carvalhal believes the short turnaround in games were a contributing factor in the dour displays, stating It is not realistic to expect players to play at the top of their performance with two games in three days.” However, Bannan went against the argument put forward by his boss by claiming that the players can’t use the fixture list as an excuse for under-performing. “It is the same for everybody in the league,” said Bannan on the Football’s League schedule and whether the players had been feeling the effects. “Everybody has to do it. It is part and parcel of the league. It has not changed. “It has been the same for many years. It is nothing to do with playing two games in three days.” Bannan added: “We have been doing it for years now. I think if you can’t play two games in three days you shouldn’t really be playing football.”
  3. Did MM sell the club shop to Mike Ashley ?
  4. I take by my disabled lad to S6 we've been to 2extra game this season. (Plus last year ST) Does this mean I can get 1x ticket and a free careers ticket from the club shop tomorrow afternoon ? Been trying to ring them all morning for info but no answer. Thanks in advance.
  5. Following further discussions with the respective authorities, the club are pleased to announce that further home tickets have been made available for Friday evening’s play-off fixture against Brighton. These tickets go on sale ONLINE AND BY TELEPHONE ONLY from 9.00am on Wednesday. The West Stand lower and North Stand West end will be available for home supporters, in addition to restricted view Kop tickets. This phase is the general sale and, in line with all previous sale dates, supporters can purchase two tickets per ID number. Anyone who has already bought two tickets for this fixture will not be eligible for further tickets. PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE NO SALES FROM THE TICKET OFFICE. Tickets are priced at £20 for adults, £15 for over 65s and young adults (17-20s), £10 for under 17s and £5 for under 11s. Given the anticipated demand, the online store and telephone lines will be extremely busy. The online store will have a queuing system in place so we ask for your patience during this busy time. Supporters are advised if they are unsure of their online password, log in using the relevant ID number, surname and postcode. All telephone bookings will include a £2 booking fee per ticket.
  6. With the 2016/17 Season Ticket window closing on Monday, the Owls’ Ticket Office phone lines are exceptionally busy and waiting times are longer than usual. The club have measures in place to cope with the huge demand for Season Tickets ahead of the deadline as supporters can request a call back from the Ticket Office by emailing their contact details and ID number toticketenquiries@swfc.co.uk. All emails requests with the relevant contact details will be facilitated by a member of the Ticket Office staff. The Season Ticket window is open until midnight on Monday I February and fans have been flocking in their thousands to sign up for one, two and three year deals.
  7. The Owls’ unique Season Ticket window for 2016/17 closes for business in just six days’ time – and fans have been flocking in their thousands to sign up for one, two or three-year deals since early January. The window slams shut on Monday 1 February and Wednesdayites are reminded of the details regarding Season Ticket sales. HOW TO BUY One-year deals From the Sheffield Wednesday Online Shop, in person at the Ticket Office or by telephone on 0871 900 1867. Payment options Cash, debit/credit card, cheque or ten-month finance option with V12 (6.5% arrangement fee). Two and three-year deals From the Ticket Office only or by telephone on 0871 900 1867. Payment options Cash, debit card, cheque or ten-month finance option with V12 (6.5% arrangement fee). PHONE LINES Supporters are advised that telephone lines for the purchase of Season Tickets are extremely busy and longer than usual waiting times are likely. A call back from the Ticket Office can be requested by emailing your contact details and ID number to ticketenquiries@swfc.co.uk OPENING TIMES The Owls’ Ticket Office is open Monday to Saturday 9.00am to 5.00pm and due to demand for the Advance Saver Season Ticket, this Sunday from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Sheffield Wednesday would like to thank all fans for their patience and support.
  8. Sheffield Wednesday were wallowing in the third tier of English football and Reading sinking into the fourth when two childhood friends bought a small tuna cannery south-east of Bangkok. Kraisorn Chansiri and Cheng Niruttinanon were so close they called themselves brothers, as they still do after building the business they opened in 1977 in the port of Samut Sakhon into a global seafood giant worth billions. Thai Union Frozen (TUF) is the world's largest producer of canned tuna — it owns John West among many others — and sons of its two founders can be found running the Championship clubs which met on Wednesday night at Hillsborough. Dejphon Chansiri, son of Kraisorn, bought Wednesday for £37.5million in January and Narin Niruttinanon has owned 50 per cent of Reading since a £26m takeover last year that saved the club from crippling debts. The Football League is aware of the tangled connections. They have sought and received assurances that the two clubs are being run independently, with separate boards and corporate structures.The same questions will be asked again by the Premier League if Reading or Sheffield Wednesday or both clubs achieve their aims of promotion. Football's authorities are less concerned by close friendships and more by their financial supply lines and TUF's possible control and influence inside two clubs competing in the same competition. Narin is, among other things, the deputy general of Thai Union Manufacturing Company, a subsidiary of TUF. He also owns shares in TUF, and his father Cheng remains the company's executive chairman. Dejphon holds no official position inside Thai Union, but there are obvious links to the company and his name has appeared on documents as a 'connected person'. His father Kraisorn is the company's chairman and elder brother Thiraphong runs the company, as the president and chief executive. Undoubtedly, the families enjoy extreme wealth and Thailand's sporting landscape has long been gripped by an obsession with English football. Thaksin Shinawatra was the first Thai to invest in English football when he bought Manchester City in 2007. He sold it a year later to the Abu Dhabi United Group. Leicester have been owned for the last five years by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, billionaire founder of King Power Duty Free. Supporters of Wednesday and Reading seem to have been encouraged by early signs under their new ownership. Wednesday, despite confusion surrounding the exit of manager Stuart Gray and the appointment of his successor Carlos Carvalhal, have signed 11 players this summer. They have also spent £1m digging up the problematic old Hillsborough pitch, and installing new drainage, under-soil heating and a new surface. There has also been a £400,000 injection into the academy infrastructure. After 15 years of struggle since plunging out of the Premier League, this proud South Yorkshire institution, and one of the most famous names in football, seems to be turning a corner. It has long been desperate for modernisation. Questions remain about the wisdom of assembling a managerial committee to advise and assist Carvalhal, but the success of this experiment will be determined by results. Like Wednesday, Reading have been busy trading players in and out at the end of a cycle when long-serving players such as Alex Pearce, Adam Federici and Jem Karacan departed. After the feel-good FA Cup run to the semi-finals at Wembley in April, this is Steve Clarke's first full campaign and feels more like a fresh start than it did when the Thais first arrived in October. Three owners share the power at the Madejski. Co-chairwoman Khunying Sasima Srivikorn, a composer who has helped write a new club song, They call us the Royals, owns 25 per cent, as does Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth, a businessman better known as 'Tiger'. The Thai influence is already strong. Clarke's team played a pre-season friendly in Bangkok, Thai energy drink Carabao has replaced Waitrose, who sponsored Reading's shirts for seven years, and Thai Airways are another of the club's official partners. Wednesday agreed to publish the Carabao logo on the front of their match-day programme alongside their own lead sponsors and granted Reading a page of advertising inside, a deal which will be reciprocated when the teams meet at the Madejski, in January. By then, perhaps more will be understood about the direction of these two clubs rich in omega three oils.
  9. Kamil Zayatte has claimed he intentionally avoided playing for Sheffield Wednesday in order to be fit to feature for Guinea. Looking back on his time with the Owls – which ended when he was released from the club last month – Zayatte told a reporter in his home country he put off a return to action, looking to protect himself ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations. “There were times when I even refused to play for my club to be ready for the [Cup of Nations],” Zayatte told Foot224. “My coaches saw I was ready but every time there was a match, I said that I had to wait to return.” The injury in question was the hamstring problem that kept Zayatte out for almost three months before Christmas. He was named in the matchday squad for the Boxing Day visit of Blackpool and the trip to Wigan four days later but failed to come off the bench. Should Zayatte’s startling claim be true, his efforts failed to yield the desired results as he carried an injury into the tournament and he did not play as Guinea were eliminated in the quarter finals after drawing all three group matches. The 30-year-old has since been forced to defend himself from claims in Guinea that he only travelled to the tournament for the money and knew he would not be fit enough to play. It is an accusation he firmly denies. Zayatte also revealed he had an operation to put a metal plate in his jaw after suffering a fracture on the training ground late last season. He says he endured difficult times while with Wednesday, both personally and professionally. He said: “Personally, I would say that the results are mixed [his time at Wednesday]. “During my two years in Sheffield, I had difficult times. With the death of my mother, mourning. It was very difficult for me. “Each time I came back to my best level, be it in a club or [national team], there were glitches. “I was out one to two months and in the time it took me to come back, someone had already taken my place.” Zayatte managed 26 appearances for the Owls during his two seasons with the club, scoring two goals.
  10. Former prospective Wednesday owner Hafiz Mammadov has denied fleeing his native Azerbaijan due to an arrest warrant being issued over alleged embezzlement. Mammadov agreed to buy the Owls from Milan Mandaric a year ago for around £40m with his ‘Azerbaijan Land of Fire’ branding appearing as the main shirt sponsor throughout the season. But Mandaric pulled the plug on the deal in September after Mammadov failed to provide the necessary funds. Reports emerged in Azerbaijan over the weekend that an arrest warrant had been issued for Mammadov over failed repayment of a loan –the latest incident which suggests the Owls dodged a bullet with his failed takeover. It is alleged Mammadov borrowed around £60m from the International Bank of Azerbaijan that was never repaid. Website AzPolitika claims the 50-year-old was warned about the arrest warrant two days before it was issued, allowing him to leave the country. Mammadov is currently in London, but has flatly denied fleeing the country. He said: “The information about my flight from the country is an absolute lie. “Currently I’m in London for treatment. I have problems with my leg. “In the coming days, I will be back in Baku.†Mammadov still owns majority stakes in two football clubs but both are suffering from off-field problems. FC Baku has had its license revoked by the Azerbaijan Football Federation due to severe financial difficulties and the lack of guarantees for the coming season and will be relegated to the second division. French club RC Lens were automatically relegated to Ligue 2, regardless of their final finishing position this season, due to Mammadov failing to provide funds he had previously guaranteed.
  11. The Owls’ hopes of landing Lewis McGugan on a permanent deal could have suffered a setback with Watford set to part ways with boss Slavisa Jokanovic. It has been reported that the Hornets have approached former Atletico Madrid boss Quique Sanchez Flores to become their new manager as they return to the Premier League. Jokanovic is out of contract at Vicarage Road and talks are said to have broken down, despite the Serbian guiding Watford to promotion. The managerial situation at Watford will be closely monitored by Stuart Gray, who has said on numerous occasions that he would be interested in bringing McGugan back to Hillsborough on a permanent deal. The attacking midfielder had two loan spells with Wednesday last season - both of which were sanctioned by Jokanovic. Any new manager at Watford is likely to assess his squad before deciding on which players to let go. McGugan has a year remaining on his deal at Vicarage Road and is likely to have attracted potential suitors other than the Owls after good performances in his loan spells. It is expected the Owls would have to pay a six-figure fee should they pursue the signing of the 26-year-old. McGugan made 22 appearances for the Owls over two loan periods last season, scoring three goals.
  12. Debate is likely to rage on for a while over whether this season has been successful for the Owls. The rather disappointing drop off after the flirtation with the play-offs will lead some to view the campaign negatively. But others will look on the positive side. After a few years of struggle, Wednesday never looked in any danger of being caught up in the relegation fight. The debate even rumbles on within the Owls squad. Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood believes Wednesday have exceeded expectations this term. “It has been a positive season for the club with the takeover,†he said. “I would like to think we have out-weighed expectations. “The club had been near the bottom of the league in the two previous seasons. “When Stuart Gray took over last year, he got the lads playing unbelievably and got them away from the bottom of the table. “We finished strongly and he has progressed it this year. “We were free from relegation a long time ago. We are comfortably in mid-table. “With a little bit more luck this year, maybe we could have finished higher. “A few big injuries for key players came at wrong times for us.†While he says the season has been a very good one for the Owls, Chris Maguire believes the standard was always in reach of the squad. He said: “I don’t think you can say we have over-achieved. “We have given 100 per cent every week. If we are not having a good day, we will still fight and dig in. That comes through the characters in the dressing room. “It’s been a great season.†(The Star)
  13. There weren’t many party poppers out to celebrate the last home game of the season. In fact there weren’t many people left in Hillsborough after the lacklustre performance against Leeds United. The players walked around the pitch to an almost empty stadium. Not much of send-off for the boys. Despite our woeful home form, we do have some things to celebrate this season. Even if we lose to newly promoted Watford on Saturday, the lowest position we can finish is 14th. This would be our highest league position since the 2008/09 season when we finished 12th. We’ve also equalled our record for clean sheets this season, as previously discussed. One more game left to break that record! And of course we have Kieren Westwood. Our goalkeeper isn’t just club’s Player of the Year; he has also been named in the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Championship Team of the Year. This is like finding a lucky seven leaf clover in a field full of unicorns for Sheffield Wednesday. The last time Owls players were recognised in the PFA’s end of season awards was 1990/91, when we dominated the First Division Team of the Year. Nigel Pearson, Carlton Palmer, John Sheridan and David Hirst all made the team that year. Finding a player, who isn’t a loanee and who can make such an impact is a huge step forward for the club. It should be a priority for Wednesday to sign him up to a long term deal as soon as possible. He is a reason to stay at the ground and celebrate as he takes a lap of honour. The biggest ovation was for the scoreboard. A trip through all its Atari like graphics showed it was the end of an era. Progress may be shown in little steps but there has been progress made this season. (The Star)
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