What next for Sheffield Wednesday and Tony Pulis after early dismissal? 
A view of the Kop stand inside Sheffield Wednesday's Hillborough Stadium 
(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

In May, when the current season is concluded, it will mark four seasons (2016/17) since Sheffield Wednesday finished in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs. 

If someone was to say four years ago that Lincoln City and potentially even Accrington Stanley, have the opportunity of promotion to the Championship, most would laugh.

However, next season the Owls could find themselves a tier lower than the Imps, who were three divisions below in the National League, when Wednesday last occupied a play-off spot. 

And after years of hoping for a Championship exit, it will seemingly happen at the opposing end of the table in the form of relegation if things don't improve.

This just shows the shocking revelations of where the Owls are currently at as a club. 

Troubles at the round table reflect the position in the table 

Since that time in 2017, Wednesday have failed to hit the same heights, but on the balance of proceedings, they haven't struggled enough to be considered as relegation candidates. Until this season. 

Off the field issues have plagued the Owls morale and they look a club that is dejected and destined for the drop, after several off the field issues. 

The uncertainty as to the whether they would receive a points deduction loomed over the club last season, and despite it not coming into effect, they were punished with it at the start of the 2020/21 campaign. 

The club are without a CEO and would hugely benefit from extra figures in the boardroom to oversee key decisions and also take some pressure off under-fire owner Dejphon Chansiri

The Thai businessman now has the task of appointing a new boss, after the sacking of Tony Pulis, remarkably before the turn of the year, despite being appointed on November 13th 2020. 

Are Pulis' days as a manager numbered? 

In 1992 Pulis stepped into management and he's enjoyed a lengthy 28 years in the dugout managing 10 different clubs, however, Sheffield Wednesday might well be his final venture on a management front - following the 62-year-olds sacking after just 10 games at the helm. 

Last night Pulis was sacked just 45 days after he took charge of the Owls and it leaves questions marks as to whether he will step over the white line again to manage an 11th team. 

Before taking over the South Yorkshire outfit, Pulis had spent 18 months out of the game and in that time made appearances as a pundit on Sky Sports' Gillette Soccer Saturday programme. 

It remains to be seen whether this will be his next venture or if he will patiently wait for another job that is more fitting to arise and have one final crack of the whip as a manager. 

Wednesday woes 

His most recent job before joining Wednesday at Middlesbrough saw him accumulate his best win percentage at a club, but the challenge at Hillsborough was seemingly too much and ultimately Chansiri slammed the axe less than two months after being employed. 

It was always going to be an uphill battle for the blue side of the steel city this season, after an initial 12 point deduction before the season. 

That deduction has since been cut to six, but the Owls still find themselves in 23rd position and are only kept off the foot of the table by newly-promoted Wycombe Wanderers

Below par and below the line 

Pulis has made a career of making his sides hard to play against, with grit, determination and ultimately some impressive score lines along the way. 

There's no doubt he's come under scrutiny for his playing style, but above all else, it was just imperative for Wednesday to get points on the board and points on the board fast. 

Pulis was the man brought in to do that and despite not being the young and vibrant manager some fans will have hoped for, it was expected that he would alter the fortunes at Hillsborough and architect an upturn in form that saw the Owls climb above the dotted line.

A January transfer window with extra importance 

Unfortunately, the barren run of form continued after Pulis' appointment and Wednesday look in a perilous position, furthermore, the search for a new manager now commences ahead of a huge January transfer window for the club. 

One win in 10 matches was simply not good enough, but despite that statistic, the Owls still have a very realistic chance of staying up if they can appoint the right man. 

It's a huge decision and is ultimately one that could determine whether Wednesday play their football in the second or third tier next season. 

Deciding who is the right man is never easy, but that job is made even harder when from an outsider looking in, it looks a real poisoned chalice. 

Willingness to work on a shoestring budget

Once that manager comes in, work will begin right away on accessing the squad and deciding which areas need improvement, to give Wednesday the best chance of survival. 

Recent news and reports from Hillsborough revealed the first team players received a maximum of £7,000 each of their November wages and are yet to hear anything more on when they will. 

With all that being said, the prospect of coming into a job where your monthly salary isn't guaranteed looks bleak and uninspiring. 

It also leaves questions as to who Sheffield Wednesday will be able to attract this January transfer window and how much the new manager will have at his disposal to spend.