So why are the short term aims of the SCSA as stated?
We have been asked to detail why we have three short term aims which are reproduced below as a reminder.
- Work hard to increase knowledge among the wider fanbase of Swansea City about the actions of the former shareholders in the sale of the club. We will achieve this by making efforts to publicise information that is already in the public domain but has been largely ignored by both the local and national media.
- We will call for the shareholders who sold the club from under the supporters and the privileges currently afforded to them to be removed. This should include boardroom access as well as preferential treatment in ticketing and stadium matters.
- We will urge the Supporters’ Trust to return to its membership for another vote on the proposal not to take legal action in favour of a partial sale of the Trust’s shares. We are not saying at this point that the original vote should be ignored. However, we feel that recent developments have led to the need for the Trust to consult its members on this issue again, quickly.
It is also worth noting that we believe the position of club chairman Huw Jenkins to be untenable as a direct result of the above three situations and we will now lay out in more detail why we think this is the case.
1. Selling the club behind the back of the supporters.
We should never lose sight of the fact that the decision to sell the club behind the backs of the supporters was not a decision taken only by the chairman, but one taken by all the shareholders, acting together.
There is no doubt that they were frustrated and angered by the presence of the Trust in a previous potential deal with Charles Noell and John Moores. However, that does not justify completely bypassing the organisation that was formed to ensure that the longer term interests of Swansea City were protected.
Huw Jenkins was present in 2002 when the club returned to local ownership following the Tony Petty era. He should have been acutely aware from his involvement at that time that and the actions taken how much Swansea City means to its fans. That makes his decision to sell without the full involvement of the Supporters’ Trust crass at best and ultimately unforgivable.
Indeed, this quote from Huw Jenkins in April 2012 should be remembered at all times “The hard times of the past mean we fully appreciate what we have today, we have ambition, but we grow the club within its income, encourage managers, and work hard. We and the supporters trust have respect for each other. It is mad for the football authorities not to encourage supporter ownership more – the game is about supporters.”
Also, consider the comments Huw Jenkins made in his programme notes in February 2015 following the failed sale to Moores and Noell: “I’m positive that any movement away from the current set-up will only be put in place if everyone connected to our club is convinced it’s a good thing for the football club first and foremost. If not, and this is my opinion, I can see the status quo continuing for some years to come.”
2. Continued poor performance on the pitch.
Swansea City has regressed dramatically on the field in recent years. From the moment we lifted the Capital One Cup in 2013 and competed in Europe the deterioration has been rapid and continued.
There is little doubt that the appointments Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup were inspired and driven by a clear vision for the club. The appointment of Garry Monk was also meant to be along those lines but since then you have to question the logic behind the appointments of Francesco Guidolin, Bob Bradley and now Paul Clement given the team’s current position.
Add to that the endless poor transfer purchases coupled with players apparently being imposed on managers and you have decisions that have cost people employment. However, increased salaries and bonuses have resulted while our league position speaks for itself. After close brushes with relegation in the past two seasons, we now face a third and possibly final battle against the drop.
The SCSA completely agrees that the club needs to work within its means but how many top quality signings can you mention since Michael Laudrup’s transfer purchases that have set the world alight?
3. Bypassing of duties as the chairman of a multi million pound organisation
The court case that we all read about this week was depressing to say the least. Steve Penny and Don Keefe worked for this club for many years and for a large part of that time they did so without any reward. They were present at almost every game and devoted their time to the cause that was Swansea City.
As the club grew the rewards were given because of the extra hours needed but these guys were tossed to one side the moment the sale was completed. As we have seen in court this week, fictitious minutes of non-existent meetings were created with the chairman admitting that he signs documents without fully checking them. That is an unacceptable practice that should not be allowed to pass without comment. Indeed his comment about not taking much notice of “the intricacies” he was signing in his role should set off huge alarm bells given his position and the other documents he is asked to sign on a regular basis.
We at the Swansea City Supporters’ Alliance believe that while Huw Jenkins remains at the helm of Swansea City, the supporter base will never be completely united.
While we understand the reasoning behind the Americans wanting to utilise Huw Jenkins’s previous strong track record, the last four years of poor decisions and ill feeling cannot be ignored any longer. We implore the majority owners of Swansea City to consider removing the chairman to allow us to take the first step towards getting our club back again.