Trevor Birch set to be Swans Chairman

Stuart James from the Guardian is reporting that Trevor Birch is set to be named the new Swansea City Chairman.

"Trevor Birch is expected to become the new Swansea City chairman, replacing Huw Jenkins. Birch, former chief executive at Chelsea and Leeds, and an ex-player, is a chartered accountant & global head of Duff & Phelps' sports industry practice. He puts out financial fires.

Understand his job will be a “restructuring” one at Swansea. Clearly another sizeable financial hole (believed to be about £30m) to fill in the summer. With his expertise across finance/football, Birch has been identified as the man to oversee that task and more.

Birch has previously worked for, and advised, a number of football clubs with financial “problems”, including Portsmouth, Bolton & Aston Villa (he is an insolvency specialist among other things). Swansea, however, is expected to be a permanent and long-term role.

In the past Birch has helped clubs find fresh investment with a view to changing ownership. But I don't believe that will be the case at Swansea. Jenkins' shoes needed to be filled, he'll step into them, take control of the day-to-day running & manage the financial, er, mess."
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Comments

  • Insolvency Specialist?   That hardly cheered me up.
  • dont think he's coming in to do that.

    Stuart says it's a long term gig. 

    I think he'll have the connections and nous to sort out the financials and make sure whoever needs to off the books, do so at more than their market value. unlike the last two windows. 

    He did that at Chelsea, Leeds, tried to do it at Everton. And has advised Villa most recently, who were in a similar, if not worse position than we are - i.e. their PL payments had stopped, or were close to.
  • edited March 9
    This is seriously depressing.  On his employer's web page he's promoted as heading their "Global Restructuring Advisory Practice."  Done it at Pompey and Hearts (administration), and advised Bolton and Villa with their financial difficulties as well.

    It's just as well we have owners who are "willing to invest in the club and have the financial resources to do so"  (or words to that effect) or we'd be totally screwed.
    Natterjack
  • The last paragraph is an interesting one. If what I have been told has any truth to it the Amercans may be looking for a buyer at the end of the season which is where Trevor Birch may come into it.
  • I think he is a good appointment. Don't be so pessimistic. 

    We finally have someone with footballing and financial nous at the helm. So as long as he is able to do the job properly, he'll be a big step up from Levien cocking up the last 2 windows, with cut price sales on the last day of the last 2 windows.


  • Don’t be in any doubt
    our players are for sale, any price considered 
  • @Mark_Jack_London I hope you are right.  Time will tell.  My optimistic half tells me maybe they hired him to handle the sale to the Catherine Zeta Jones / Bonnie Tyler consortium.   
    Natterjack
  • No doubt it can be so easy for Swans fans to be sceptical about a new 'face' arriving at the Liberty especially when one considers, after a brief read through his wiki cv of his background in helping clubs through the process of administration.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/17562825

    One really hopes that Birch's remit will be just a financial restructuring role and until he finds some skeletons in the cupboard of unpaid / forthcoming debts, then all we can think is that at last somebody with a professional head on his shoulders has been brought in to talk with the Supporters Trust, look at their legal position, and find common ground with our owners of what to do next.

    https://lionofviennasuite.sbnation.com/2016/1/12/10749284/be-careful-what-you-wish-for-a-lesson-from-portsmouth-fc

    Google Pompey, Birch and Trust and you will get a good idea of what Birch's background is

  • I will be interested to see the official announcement on this and how it is framed by the club.
     Are we still looking for a so-called Head of Football Operations or are GP’s team now going to perform that role?
    Trevor Birch’s skillset seems to occupy more of Pearman’s space so it seems like we are doubling up at that level and spending more money that we haven’t got. Unless Pearlman is on his way out?
    The appointment does seem to be recognising and confirming financial problems though , rather than just appointing a new Chairman, and interesting comments above as to whether it’s in preparation for sale.
    Still lots of unanswered questions for me at the moment.
  • Agree with the Pearlman issue. If Birch is looking after the financials, one of the elephants in the room, has to be someone on £750,000 p.a. who doesn’t appear to do jack s**t to justify it, perhaps Birch would. 
    But when does Pearlman’s contract run out?
    Because otherwise, we’re doubling up the wages. 
    And how long can we carry on funding the Landore academy, when the parachute payments finish?
    Looks like TheYanks are circling the wagons, with this appointment. 
    Apart from possible academy issues, this has to be a positive sign, that the Yanks are thinking of selling, “Shirley?”
  • As the trust were meant to be involved in the selection process, it will be interesting to see their take on it.
    Natterjack
  • deekay said:
    As the trust were meant to be involved in the selection process, it will be interesting to see their take on it.
    I sincerely hope they were as they very publicly demanded the head of the previous Chairman .

    Why does anybody think that Pearlman and Birch have similar skill sets ? Birch is an accountant and been CEO of a few football clubs . CP sold advertising space and has no previous experience of running Companies . Merely eyes and ears and if we had remained in the prem could have opened up American sponsorship opportunities . There is no need for him to be here . 
  • The Trust were fully involved in the appointment of Birch. Fact.


  • I am not sure the appointment does step on Pearlman's shoes, and it's not doubling up, wages-wise. this is the HJ cash and I believe, old role, not the patsy one it became in the last 12 months.

    Pearlman was brought in to work on the Commercial growth of the club, not run it. Make no mistake. Birch will be running the show.

    A role that will be to make sure the financials are secure. Negotiating transfers and working with the recruitment team to make sure they can do what they need to do, within budgets he sets.

    Dont forget, he has played the game at a professional level. He's not JUST an accountant.

    As Colin has pointed out, he has a track record with working with Supporters Trusts - Leeds was his first experience, and Portsmouth more recently. That relationship between the Americans and Trust HAS to be broached. 

    And I dont believe he here to prepare the club for sale, either. And I dont think he is a yes man either. He left the Chief Exec job at Everton for that very reason.

    I am also told he is a good guy, from someone who has spoken with him, many times. 
  • Pearlman is the Yanks' man on the ground
    You would employ him too if you discovered the true state of the finances was worse than you thought AND that the Chairman you dealt with ( who should have been financially competent ) had overstretched the club in spite of the PL TV money
    Arguably Pearlman is not needed at all if Birch is trusted to get on with it
  • Interesting that the Trust were involved in Birch's appointment.  The feeling from Portsmouth is very positive as it was Birch who appointed the Pompey Trust as the preferred buyer of the club when was in real danger of going under.  He is clearly very experienced, being the man who brought Abramovitch to Chelsea. There is a good article in the Daily Telegraph from two years ago which gives significant insight into his thoughts about teams relegated from the Premier League:

    In Premier League history, only 21 clubs have indulged in the Lazarus act by spending a single year in the lower tier, and previously well-established top-flight clubs - such as Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry - have never come back.

    For those with experience of depressed institutions, the difference between rapid recovery and prolonged agony is how soon they foresee and prepare for failure. That may not be palatable to supporters craving investment to survive - Sunderland's fatalism has been a theme of their campaign - but throwing Premier League wages at a lost cause is usually disastrous. "The well-established clubs who have not been relegated recently - such as Aston Villa last season - tend to find it much harder," says Trevor Birch, who witnessed the debilitating economic consequences of relegation when called in to be chief executive of Leeds and administrator at Portsmouth.

    "The mindset is that of a Premier League club, yet life in the Championship is very different. That is why you get so many who continue to plummet into League One. How quickly a club can recover depends a lot on the length and size of the contracts they have given out, which cannot be easily adjusted. Relegation clauses may not be significant enough to reduce costs, or players may not be moved on or may not want to move, especially if they cannot get the same salaries elsewhere.

    "The Premier League parachute payments [currently around PS80million over three years] may make it increasingly easier to deal with this, but the shock to the system is still significant. Leeds was the ultimate example. You had players on contracts ensuring the club was going to continue to make considerable losses when they were relegated. That made selling the club extremely difficult because a buyer could see the losses that were going to made in the Championship. Nobody wants to fund losses."

    Birch, now managing director of corporate financial advisers Duff and Phelps, says clubs avoid Leeds's fate by preparing for setbacks. "If a club has one eye on thinking there is a good chance they will get relegated, they will be more conservative in how they approach the situation," he said. "It seems when Burnley were first promoted [in 2014] they were thinking they might go down and were working with players in the Premier League who would be able to be retained to do a job in the Championship. Burnley were able to keep a core of players to get back up and this time they are in a good position to stay in the Premier League by taking that long-term view."



    "Dispelling the myth that relegation leads to better fortunes; Sport Football; Only 21 clubs have gone straight back up after fall from top flight, and some have kept doing down." Daily Telegraph [London, England], 26 Apr. 2017, p. 6.

    Colin_swanseagaretharogers
  • Pearlman is the Yanks' man on the ground
    You would employ him too if you discovered the true state of the finances was worse than you thought AND that the Chairman you dealt with ( who should have been financially competent ) had overstretched the club in spite of the PL TV money
    Arguably Pearlman is not needed at all if Birch is trusted to get on with it
    You say "financially competent " ns2 but remember what happened to his previous company Casey's Roofing
  • Pearlman is the Yanks' man on the ground
    You would employ him too if you discovered the true state of the finances was worse than you thought AND that the Chairman you dealt with ( who should have been financially competent ) had overstretched the club in spite of the PL TV money
    Arguably Pearlman is not needed at all if Birch is trusted to get on with it
    Birch cannot do everything. There has to be someone there doing the commercial deals off pitch, and marketing. 

    THAT is what Pearlman was brought in to. Something many people had been crying out for. someone with more cloud and nous than Dineen.

    Now whether Pearlman is that man, or whether Birch will deem he doesnt bring enough value to the club for the wages he is on, will soon be determined.

    I dare say, the Americans will want to hold on to him. because if we do manage to get back up in the next 2 years, then they will want to continue to build their US market, one Pearlman knows well.
  • Deals off the pitch yes but where are they?
    What actually has he achieved?
    At least appointing Birch ( or someone with that experience ) does suggest they have not been lying about the financial situation and that they intend to address it
    Let's see how they behave when Baston Bony Ayews and other ex PL high earners are off the books
    Will they sell Dan or try to build around the best of the current squad
    It would go some way to convincing the fans if they did keep Dan and give GP his preferred 4 signings or so
    Not the club's , GP's
  • Deals off the pitch yes but where are they?
    What actually has he achieved?
    At least appointing Birch ( or someone with that experience ) does suggest they have not been lying about the financial situation and that they intend to address it
    Let's see how they behave when Baston Bony Ayews and other ex PL high earners are off the books
    Will they sell Dan or try to build around the best of the current squad
    It would go some way to convincing the fans if they did keep Dan and give GP his preferred 4 signings or so
    Not the club's , GP's
    all guesswork from fans at the moment, we all have to be patient, but the 'hard medicine' has already been mentioned in Stu James's tweets-a £30M shortfall next season, so an accomplished football accountant such as Birch is a positive move forward to address the problem. 
  • The Trust were fully involved in the appointment of Birch. Fact.


    Colin

    For clarity, I wasn't suggesting otherwise. Being involved and agreeing with the appointment, are, as no doubt you appreciate, two different things. I just wonder whether or not they agree with and/or support the appointment (when/if it's announced)
  • basementjack said:

    Birch, now managing director of corporate financial advisers Duff and Phelps, says clubs avoid Leeds's fate by preparing for setbacks. "If a club has one eye on thinking there is a good chance they will get relegated, they will be more conservative in how they approach the situation," he said. "It seems when Burnley were first promoted [in 2014] they were thinking they might go down and were working with players in the Premier League who would be able to be retained to do a job in the Championship. Burnley were able to keep a core of players to get back up and this time they are in a good position to stay in the Premier League by taking that long-term view."

    What he said makes absolute sense.  I'm sure that's the Huddersfield approach too.

    Too bad we didn't have someone with that mindset a couple of years ago instead of those willing to throw all our chips on the table with ridiculous deal for A.Ayew, Bony etc. in the blind hope they would keep us up.  
  • deekay said:
    The Trust were fully involved in the appointment of Birch. Fact.


    Colin

    For clarity, I wasn't suggesting otherwise. Being involved and agreeing with the appointment, are, as no doubt you appreciate, two different things. I just wonder whether or not they agree with and/or support the appointment (when/if it's announced)
    deekay,
    apologies, my remark wasn’t aimed at you but to whitemountains
  • Look at Bolton, there's a success story, Look at Aston Villa, they brought in Sawaris after Birch left and Portsmouth are now owned by the Fans who found the money themselves. We don't need another 600K chairman a year to hide what the Yanks are doing, we need someone to buy these shits out, 13M in debt in 2016 with players sales added to next season, says it all. In other word no F...ing debt
    Players wages one third of the parachute payments at present, or less than championship payments, or 2M less than last seasons season ticket sales, remember our sales have always exceeded players bought. TV money has always been more than even the daft (all in figure for wages which was nearly double players wages) they show in their accounts, so what magic hole has it all gone down. Be transparent not employ another dim wit we don't need
  • Phillip said:
    Look at Bolton, there's a success story, Look at Aston Villa, they brought in Sawaris after Birch left and Portsmouth are now owned by the Fans who found the money themselves. We don't need another 600K chairman a year to hide what the Yanks are doing, we need someone to buy these shits out, 13M in debt in 2016 with players sales added to next season, says it all. In other word no F...ing debt
    Players wages one third of the parachute payments at present, or less than championship payments, or 2M less than last seasons season ticket sales, remember our sales have always exceeded players bought. TV money has always been more than even the daft (all in figure for wages which was nearly double players wages) they show in their accounts, so what magic hole has it all gone down. Be transparent not employ another dim wit we don't need
    the dimwit you mentioned will take over HJ's wages but at least we have somebody with experience in to have a look at the financial mess the club is in. Before presuming the negative give the guy time to get his feet under the table or would you have preferred another Yank with just the experience of the MSL to come in. FFS
  • The Trust were fully involved in the appointment of Birch. Fact.



    As the trust were meant to be involved in the selection process, it will be interesting to see their take on it.
    I sincerely hope they were as they very publically asked for the
    deekay
  • Phillip said:
    Look at Bolton, there's a success story, Look at Aston Villa, they brought in Sawaris after Birch left and Portsmouth are now owned by the Fans who found the money themselves. We don't need another 600K chairman a year to hide what the Yanks are doing, we need someone to buy these shits out, 13M in debt in 2016 with players sales added to next season, says it all. In other word no F...ing debt
    Players wages one third of the parachute payments at present, or less than championship payments, or 2M less than last seasons season ticket sales, remember our sales have always exceeded players bought. TV money has always been more than even the daft (all in figure for wages which was nearly double players wages) they show in their accounts, so what magic hole has it all gone down. Be transparent not employ another dim wit we don't need
    the dimwit you mentioned will take over HJ's wages but at least we have somebody with experience in to have a look at the financial mess the club is in. Before presuming the negative give the guy time to get his feet under the table or would you have preferred another Yank with just the experience of the MSL to come in. FFS
    His record speaks for itself, 2 in administration one who needed an Egyptian Billionaire to pull them out of the shit, which he had nothing to do with, Everton in debt and Chelsea who he had no involvement in their owners purchase.
    Just another accountant who will be better at hiding the truth. Not once in two and a half years have they given the slightest hint on where the non players wages go, without transparency there will be mistrust and nine times out of ten its well founded, the only certainty now, is when not if, we find ourselves in financial ruin. 17K a week wont help either, Pearlman 700K a year for what, he could have at least got us a good sponsor in the Premier league, we have the biggest distribution centre for the wealthiest man on the Planet in Amazon, (and its in Swansea and an American company)who did we get nobody.
    Everyone needs to wise up, we have been fleeced and continue to be fleeced, they cant run American football and they haven't a cats chance in hell in running one here
  • Interesting that the Trust were involved in Birch's appointment. 

      Where have you got that from ?  Birch is a friend of Martin Morgan . The trust will big it up and say they were involved if public opinion says so .  If not they they will come out and say that it is nothing to do with them . 

    It is same same for last few years .  The trust is not fit for purpose at this level .  Too much money involved which they haven't got to contribute too . 
  • Phillip said:
    Phillip said:
    Look at Bolton, there's a success story, Look at Aston Villa, they brought in Sawaris after Birch left and Portsmouth are now owned by the Fans who found the money themselves. We don't need another 600K chairman a year to hide what the Yanks are doing, we need someone to buy these shits out, 13M in debt in 2016 with players sales added to next season, says it all. In other word no F...ing debt
    Players wages one third of the parachute payments at present, or less than championship payments, or 2M less than last seasons season ticket sales, remember our sales have always exceeded players bought. TV money has always been more than even the daft (all in figure for wages which was nearly double players wages) they show in their accounts, so what magic hole has it all gone down. Be transparent not employ another dim wit we don't need
    the dimwit you mentioned will take over HJ's wages but at least we have somebody with experience in to have a look at the financial mess the club is in. Before presuming the negative give the guy time to get his feet under the table or would you have preferred another Yank with just the experience of the MSL to come in. FFS
    His record speaks for itself, 2 in administration one who needed an Egyptian Billionaire to pull them out of the shit, which he had nothing to do with, Everton in debt and Chelsea who he had no involvement in their owners purchase.
    Just another accountant who will be better at hiding the truth. Not once in two and a half years have they given the slightest hint on where the non players wages go, without transparency there will be mistrust and nine times out of ten its well founded, the only certainty now, is when not if, we find ourselves in financial ruin. 17K a week wont help either, Pearlman 700K a year for what, he could have at least got us a good sponsor in the Premier league, we have the biggest distribution centre for the wealthiest man on the Planet in Amazon, (and its in Swansea and an American company)who did we get nobody.
    Everyone needs to wise up, we have been fleeced and continue to be fleeced, they cant run American football and they haven't a cats chance in hell in running one here

    Interesting that the Trust were involved in Birch's appointment. 

      Where have you got that from ?  Birch is a friend of Martin Morgan . The trust will big it up and say they were involved if public opinion says so .  If not they they will come out and say that it is nothing to do with them . 

    It is same same for last few years .  The trust is not fit for purpose at this level .  Too much money involved which they haven't got to contribute too . 
    Forget your rhetoric regarding the owners fleecing the club, who would you want to bring in and sort things out at the club?
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