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The fall of Swansea City in recent history: Who is to blame?

This article is an explanation of where Swansea City's problems over the past couple of seasons lay and who is to blame for the shortcomings

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature 11 May 2018, 10:13 IST
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A distraught Tammy Abraham

9th May 2018. The day that Swansea City’s fate was sealed, relegation for the first time in over 15 years. But where did it all go wrong for such a model club which every newly promoted team would aspire to be? The club had everything on and off the field – a board full of supporters, a blueprint on how to play football properly, players who were not only talented, but would give everything for the badge and, most importantly, a chairman who was a die-hard fan.

Now, the legacy is tarnished and fast forward four years from these times and Swansea will be playing second tier football for the first time in seven years with a group of meek players, and a pathetic American consortium, headed by two money grabbing liars. This is the story I call ‘From a Jack to a Joker’.

History of the ownership and sale of the club

Where to start? I think what is necessary to pinpoint firstly before an onslaught of the players who have put the shirt on in present times, and the incompetence of managers who have been appointed (may I add on the cheap) is the sellouts we like to call Huw Jenkins, Leigh Dineen and Martin Morgan.

In September 2016, our local run club was sold by ‘lifelong fans’ to, which we thought for a while, two American businessmen – Jason Lieven and Steve Kaplan. They have a history with sports teams in America, such as MLS franchise DC United who have coincidentally been linked with a new stadium, training facilities and Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez the day our relegation was confirmed.

This just puts the icing on the cake on how much of a joke they think we are. How have they found these funds for an MLS team but barely break even with ours? Why are they willing to invest more in the franchise than a club in a league known as the world’s finest? If you ask me, the people who bought our club are using our assets to fund their ‘American Dream’. These men were said to bear a lot of gifts with them – and when I say that I mean investment and a promise to hit that next level; we did not know at the time this meant the Championship.

But having said this about the Yanks, my hurt and betrayal are not really towards them as much, as I do not think, apart from lies about investment, they have done much wrong. They have invested in a club to gain financial rewards – yes they should have been more honest and yes, we would have liked to see the investment they promised us, but the real issue we all have within our club is with the three snakes I mentioned previously.

These men are Swansea born and bred, they knew exactly what they were doing when they cashed in. They were being greedy, they knew these men were not going to put any of their money towards the club and these snakes are complete vermin and I cannot wait for all of them to face karma in the near future – and by that I mean lose a lot of money through our relegation.

It is said that betrayal is what hurts us the most, as it is from someone who you do not think could ever hurt you – that is precisely the case here, we trusted them ‘WE LOVE OUR CHAIRMAN’ would be passionately sung amongst the East Stand. The legacy all gone for a quick buck. Embarrassing. Shameful. Unforgivable.

Transfer Policy

Swansea City v Norwich City - Premier League
Swansea didn't replace their departed stars

Transfer policy. Again, where to begin? Gylfi – sold not replaced. Llorente – sold replaced by someone who had scored roughly 2 goals in 2 years (both against us). Bony – sold replaced two and a half years later. Ben Davies – sold replaced inadequately three and a half years later. Borja Baston – signed for £15 million only to be loaned out a year later. Roque Mesa – £11 million suffered the same fate but during his maiden season. The list goes on.

At the end of the day, you simply cannot year on year sell your top assets and continually not replace them, you will be punished, and don’t the fans know it. Whilst Jenkins will be sitting on his yacht in another World over the summer, Swansea City fans will be worrying, pondering what will the policy be this summer? If it has been sell to buy with Premier League TV money – surely it will be sell to sign free agents this summer?

It has not been good enough, and the answers to the concerns of ‘where has the money gone’ have not been satisfactory enough, in actual fact, they have been shambolic. Excuse after excuse after excuse. This squad would struggle to survive in the Championship when inevitably key players such as Fabianski and Mawson are sold – and good riddance to them, two players who I can say have given everything they have for the shirt. From the days where we had signed the likes of Michu, Pablo Hernandez, Chico, Bony (the first time around) and I could go on, it saddens me where we are I do not have enough adjectives to describe the lack of care in our transfer policy.

History of managerial appointments in rise and demise of the club

Swansea unveil Bob Bradley as new Manager
Swansea unveil Bob Bradley as new Manager

I have dwelled on the past quite prominently throughout this so I am going to move on to present and to the managers we have had in the past two seasons – four in total. Let's start with Bob Bradley. It is astounding that this is the first time he has popped up in this text and just shows how deep the problems run for the club, when essentially, he is the worst manager in Premier League history.

My thoughts on his appointment were simple; the club have become classless (sacked Guidolin on his birthday when he was doing a satisfactory job) and that we were now under full Yank dictatorship. This appointment was to expand the brand in America, and it completely backfired when American soccer fans and Swansea supporters would clash for many a month after this dismissal of a dismal manager. That’s all I am going to really say about Bradley because, to be quite frank, the talking was done on the pitch and it was pretty embarrassing he was allowed 11 games.

It is bizarre how bad the appointments have been over the past two to three years as beforehand the board, again, got every appointment completely right at the right times. Martinez, Rodgers, Laudrup, I could even argue Sousa’s case for making us more defensively sound. But the appointments in recent history have been poor, to say the least. It is not due to the results, it is due to the style of play each manager has presented. It seems as if as soon as the Yanks took over, the DNA of Swansea, pass and move, was abolished replaced by get the best out of the star players, sell them for profit and do it with worse players the next season.

Paul Clement, for instance, I am not fond of the man for his comments in retrospect to his sacking, but his game plan was to utilise Llorente’s aerial prowess and use Gylfi’s delivery to get the best out of it. Then come the summer when he sorted Bradley’s mess out and kept the Swans up in fantastic fashion, the club sold his two main players and did not replace them adequately enough.

What were they expecting when the nearest replacement he got for Gylfi Sigurdsson was Sam Clucas, who was played out of position nearly every game. Even if Clement wanted to keep ‘The Swansea Way’ going, which I don’t think he did, it was borderline impossible anyway with the shambles he was left.

State of affairs on the pitch this season

Moving on to this season, I want to begin with giving Carvalhal utmost respect for the job he did in galvanising this dead and buried group. But, saying that he completely bottled it and I do not want to hear another analogy. Here is one for how I feel this season went – if you are saved from drowning in a safety boat then go back and jump in the sea you will die.

I am not putting all the blame on him, but what I am saying is changing to a defensive mindset when we needed one win out of Southampton, Bournemouth, Huddersfield, Stoke and West Brom is quite simply embarrassing and it was in our hands. But he is not the only one to blame.

There are a considerable number of players who do not deserve to wear the prestigious badge. Ki, Carroll, Naughton, King, Andre Ayew, Olsson and Clucas are the ones I want to target. Not fit to wear the shirt. This situation we find ourselves in, playing championship football is not ideal in the slightest, and if we want a chance of getting back up at the first time of asking these players HAVE to be moved on – it is essential.

The performances we witnessed against Southampton and Bournemouth made me embarrassed to be a Jack for the first time ever – lacklustre, pitiful, inexcusable. The effortless tripe we have seen this season makes me beggar belief how we are not last. There apparently have actually been worse teams than us. It just seems as if the players get nose bleeds if they are anywhere near the opposition penalty area, and the attacking quality has to come back if we stand any chance next season.

To conclude, this has been a very honest attempt from a distraught fan’s perspective on how the story of a little old football club rising through the ranks outplaying and beating some of the planet’s best teams came to an immediate stop due to selfishness and greed. And it is my hope justice will be served to the loyal supporters of Swansea City and we will all see success in the foreseeable future. 

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