It has been said many times that the film “Jack to a King” was merely a marketing ploy to prepare the ground for the sale of Swansea City. This becomes particularly obvious when you consider the way that certain people were represented in the film and the way that others of equal or greater importance were cynically airbrushed from history as if they did not matter.
From the mythical re-mortgaging of a house to a magical cashpoint, the film stretched the truth in so many ways to enhance the role of some individuals. This was a shame really, because the story of the rise of Swansea City was incredible enough without any embellishment. However, I guess it did not work as well as the marketing tool that the producers had been asked to create.
The film did though have the desired effect. As we have outlined previously, Swansea City was sold behind the backs of the fans and with no thought for the future safety of the club. We all remember the oft-repeated “by the fans, for the fans” mantra that was enjoyed and trotted out so long and so often by those who are now reaping the financial benefits of deceiving their “fellow” Swansea City fans.
More than that though, it isn’t just the financial rewards from selling their shares that these people are still enjoying. You only have to look at the club’s accounts and ask yourself where the money has gone over the years to realise that outside business interests have also benefited. That may be through the rental of private properties, hotel rooms, vending machines, building businesses, travel packages, the list goes on. It really has been a case of “having your cake and eating it” for these guys (not that there was ever a bakery involved, at least as far as we know).
If that wasn’t bad enough, we now also have some of them (or their very close families) spending their time goading angry Swans fans on Twitter. Whether that is through constantly telling people about their seemingly endless supply of match tickets (who really needs to post their match tickets on social media?) or through just basic arguing. Simply saying “views are my own” does not wash when you still style yourself as being a part of Swansea City.
These same people still enjoy the benefits of being in the directors’ box on match days. They enjoy the food and hospitality behind the scenes while the fans watch the devastation on the pitch and feel the anger and despair in the stands caused by the actions of those who sold the club. These people are rubbing our noses in the fact that they have sold Swansea City to the hedge fund wolves.
As with the chairman, the only way that fans will ever unite fully behind this club again will be when these people are removed. That isn’t something we say lightly as we recognise the work that they did in 2001 when the club was on its knees. Sadly, that work and the goodwill it rightly created has been more than undone by the sale and their actions since.
That is such a shame, because it didn’t have to be this way. Selling the club out from underneath the supporters when one of those doing the selling was so instrumental in setting up the Supporters’ Trust is unforgivable. Yet that person is retained by the current owners as a consultant despite them admitting that the commercial arm of the club has vastly underperformed over the years.
Then we have all aspects of social media. The tweets of former shareholders and their families are extremely damaging to Swansea City. There is absolutely no need for these people to be as proactive on social media in an environment where feelings run so high. It will only ever cause friction, and this is often seen to be the case. They should be given a simple choice – your Twitter following or the good of the football club. One or the other.
The SCSA calls for the immediate removal of all former shareholders of Swansea City and we ask the football club to be transparent and open in any dealings with current or previous shareholders. No business transactions should take place with these people as it will only serve to heighten ill feeling. It is not in the best short or long-term interests of Swansea City for these relationships to be in place if our club is to be united once more.
We call on Swansea City to remove any and all privileges from former shareholders. The money they put into the football club, whether that was in 2001 or later, as it certainly was in some cases, should not be seen as the investment they tried to portray it as in the film, but merely a group of fans doing what they said they were doing at the time. Helping to save Swansea City. If that is why they did what they did in the first place, as they claimed, then surely paying for match day tickets (with the appropriate membership where applicable) should not be seen as a hardship?
We suggest that any preferential treatment for anyone arranging travel packages should stop this season. We understand that the appropriate Jack Army memberships are in place but as these are non-transferable (as per the terms and conditions) do we also need to assume that it is the same people that travel to all the games for which trips are arranged? The suspicion that it isn’t is something else that isn’t helping the club’s reputation at this time.
We are sure that the majority owners (all 27 of them) want Swansea City to be united. Removing the privileges and special treatment we have outlined here, whether they be business concerns or simply social media postings, will move us one stage closer to that goal.
These former shareholders will understand it because they understood it when Tony Petty was here so they are on our wavelength, surely? I wonder how they would feel if they were in our position now, on the outside looking in while our club is being run inexorably into the ground by greed and incompetence.
The SCSA therefore asks the majority shareholders to remove the privileges, the business interests and use of social media (while those involved are still linked to Swansea City) of the former shareholders who contrived and plotted to sell the club behind the backs of their former friends and fellow supporters. We want our club back.