June 21, 2024

Owls Head of Recruitment David Downes – brought to the club after the appointment of Steve Bruce in 2019 – has been targeted by newly-relegated League One side Blackpool to become their Sporting Director.

It’s a role that would offer Downes more power within his respective club.

Downes’ time in the Wednesday role has brought promotion success stories in the form of Josh Windass, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, Lee Gregory and the double-signing of Michael Ihiekwe and Michael Smith.

Wednesday manager Darren Moore told The Star he was keen to conclude the situation one way or another as a priority and made clear the club should not allow themselves to fall behind in the transfer market despite their elongated 2022/23 campaign, which ended in a promotion via a memorable play-off final win over Barnsley.

Wednesday had definitive transfer plans drawn up in the eventuality of either staying in League One or in terms of promotion to the Championship and Moore has impressed the confidence that the club will be able to press on with those plans regardless of any Downes limbo.

Recruitment sources outside the club have indicated to The Star that they have been told to report to Moore or other figures within the club ahead of Downes – for the short term at least.

Moore said on potential recruitment plans for the second tier: “We need to see just how aggressive we can go with it over the next few weeks.

“Now that we know what division we’re in, we can start implementing the plans we’ve had for the upcoming season.”

Asked on Downes situation at last week’s civic reception following the Owls’ Wembley win, Moore said: “That’s one of the first topics that we will be discussing.

“David still is connected with at the football club but we understand that it’s a situation that needs sorting. Myself and the chairman will get together in the next 24 or 48 hours to discuss that one. It’s an ongoing process.

“We have to sort it out because we can’t allow it to stand in our way in terms of the recruitment process. It’s an important part looking towards next season.”

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