Sheffield Wednesday’s owner has been Dejphon Chansiri since 2015 after he secured 100% of Milan Mandaric’s shares in the Hillsborough club. Yet the Thai tycoon also put the Owls up for sale in 2018.
Chansiri purchased Sheffield Wednesday as a personal investment away from his family’s Thai Union Frozen Group. It is the world’s largest producer of canned tuna with the company responsible for one in every five cans manufactured. Chansiri is not involved with its management and has a minor stake.
When did Dejphon Chansiri become Sheffield Wednesday’s owner?
Sheffield Wednesday announced Chansiri as the Owls’ latest owner on January 29, 2015 after he paid Mandaric £37m. The Thai businessman gained 100% of the club’s shares after successfully buying out the Serbian-American. It ended Mandaric’s four-year spell at Hillsborough after weeks of discussions.
Mandaric had not hid his desire to sell the South Yorkshire natives he rescued from administration in 2010. The former Portsmouth owner bought the Owls for just £1 after injecting a further £7m to help clear the club’s debts. But Sheffield Wednesday continued to register losses over the following years.
Azerbaijani businessman Hafiz Mammadov had also held negotiations with Mandaric over becoming Sheffield Wednesday’s new owner. But discussions between the pair over a potential £45m takeover collapsed in September 2014. The Owls had announced in July 2014 that the takeover was delayed.
Chansiri immediately injected funds into Sheffield Wednesday after becoming the Owls’ owner back in 2015, too. He made funds available for the club to secure the signings of Lewis Baker and Will Keane on loan from Chelsea. Sheffield Wednesday would end the 2014/15 Championship term in 13th place.
Dejphon Chansiri put Sheffield Wednesday back up for sale in 2018
The Owls also went on to seal a spot in the Championship play-offs during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 campaigns. But they regressed in 2017/18 to finish in 15th place. Their poor run of form in the early stages of 2018/19 also preceded Chansiri admitting in December 2018 that the club was up for sale.
The English Football League had also put Sheffield Wednesday under a transfer embargo in 2018 for breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. It allowed losses in excess of £39m over three years but the Owls posted more than £20m in 2016/17 alone. Yet Chansiri remains Sheffield Wednesday’s owner.
Chansiri also rejected a bid from an Indonesian consortium led by Erik Alonso to become Sheffield Wednesday’s owners in February 2021. It offered between £25m and £30m for 100% of the Owls’ shares. Alonso had earlier acted as an advisor to Chansiri but the pair parted ways in January 2021.
Speculated interest from Scottish businessmen and brothers, James and Sandy Easdale, in February 2022 also saw Chansiri scoff at all suggestions that he demanded an asking price of £150m. He told The Star then: “I’ve never said any figure because I have no intention to sell. But I’m happy to listen.”
What have Sheffield Wednesday won during Dejphon Chansiri’s tenure?
The Owls are yet to add a major title to Sheffield Wednesday’s trophy history since Chansiri bought Mandaric out as their owner. But the Hillsborough natives reached the quarter-finals of the 2015/16 English Football League Cup (EFL Cup). It was their first time in the last eight since the 2001/02 term.
Sheffield Wednesday have not managed to repeat their run to the EFL Cup quarter-finals or replicate their efforts in the FA Cup since. The club also endured relegation from the Championship to League One in 2020/21. They had finished the second-tier season at the bottom of the table in 24th place.
Darren Moore would remain at Hillsborough following the Owls’ relegation and guided the club into the 2021/22 League One play-offs. Sunderland, though, won 2-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals. But Moore made amends in 2022/23 by winning the League One play-offs with a 123rd-minute winner.
What other sports franchises does Dejphon Chansiri own?
Before becoming the owner of Sheffield Wednesday in 2015, Chansiri had no experience in the sport having previously owned construction and property businesses in Thailand. He also now owns Elev8 Clothing Limited, which has sponsored the Owls in recent years, along with D Performance Limited.
How much is Dejphon Chansiri worth? What is his net worth?
Not much is reported on how much Chansiri is worth via the Sheffield Wednesday owner’s personal net fortune. But Forbes cited Kraisorn Chansiri and the Chansiri family’s net worth at $575m (£450m) as of 2020. It marked a huge drop from the family’s highest net worth of $720m (£563m) as of 2019.
Still, the Chansiri family’s net worth sitting at $575m (£450m) in 2020 saw them rank 42nd in Forbes’ 50 richest people in Thailand. The family dropped off the top 50 in 2021. But Kraisorn chairs the Thai Union Group’s $4.2bn (£3.2bn) revenue. It also has a $30m (£23.5m) fund for food-tech companies.