Milan Mandaric says he hopes new owner Hafiz Mammadov can lead Wednesday back to the Premier League after handing over the Hillsborough reins to the Azerbaijani businessman.
Speaking on the club website, Milan said: “This club has big shoulders and those shoulders need to carry a big load – a Premiership load. I was conscientious enough to see it is going to need more than I can provide.
“I am very happy to step out but the number one condition was to find a proper person – something similar to what I did with Leicester … I gave the ownership to somebody else and am so happy for them because they are now in the Premier League. I want the same feelings here very soon.”
He paid tribute to the Wednesday fans for giving him the energy to drive the club forward during his time at the helm, saying: “The four years were difficult for me. I took on the club in a lot worse shape than I thought and I ran into problems.
“The engine needed fuel and the fuel was given by our supporters – encouraging me, giving me support and trusting me. So I only looked forward and not back.”
The chairman said that, in particular, the last two years in the Championship had taken a lot out of him but that he had retained his enthusiasm and that the club had continued to progress.
On a personal note, Mr Mandaric explained that his wife had been unwell over the last year or so and that, following the takeover, he would be spending more time with her. In addition, his love of football had meant his other businesses had been neglected in recent times.
He said he was still club chairman and, with regard to Mr Mammadov, said: “He is a very successful businessman, a gentleman and a good football man – exactly what this great club needs to move forward.”
Milan added: “I think our supporters will be very excited and impressed with Mr Mammadov.”