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Trust Statement

They don't pull any punches regarding the "deferred" pay of the players.

The Supporters’ Trust would like to offer our thoughts and best wishes to all Swansea City fans and their families at this difficult time. We are currently living through quite exceptional times which have caused difficulties for us all but also great hardship for many. Our thanks go to everyone who is working so hard to keep us safe, looking after those who need medical attention and those who are keeping vital services running at this time.

As much as we would, in normal circumstances, like to think of football as important, this current crisis is demonstrating that many things are much more so. However, football clubs are important assets to the community, and can provide great comfort and support to fans.  Clubs also play an important role in supporting various aspects of community life. The continued existence of football clubs is massively important to local communities across the country and will be especially so in the future.

We are seeing how football clubs can help the community close to home, with the Liberty Stadium being used by the NHS to run training courses to help on-board new and returning healthcare workers quicker than would otherwise be possible, and this week the stadium car park will be turned into a drive-through testing unit for health and social care staff. The Swans have also been active in supporting the local community, through such actions as their recent auction of Swans memorabilia, the proceeds of which are being used to provide meals, food provisions and other vital supplies for the elderly, vulnerable and those in need. We are proud to see our football club being proactive in working with the local community during this crisis.

As many businesses in many industries are finding out, the current circumstances will have a significant impact on the funds coming in, for the duration of this crisis and for some time beyond. This is something that all football clubs, especially those outside the Premier League, will be particularly affected by. For the period that football matches take place without crowds there would be no ticket revenue, or money from matchday hospitality, sponsorship, refreshments etc. The longer matches are unable to be played, or are played behind closed doors, clubs will find it more and more difficult to pay the bills and keep their heads above water. It is clear that the football industry, like many others, is going to see a significant downturn in the coming months and years.

The Trust, through our Supporter Director, has been in regular discussion with the club’s management team during the current crisis. Also, our Finance subgroup held a productive meeting with the club to discuss the actions it is taking and the various potential scenarios that could arise in the coming weeks and months. We know the club will be making further announcements, on such key issues as season tickets, in the coming weeks and we have also been paying close attention to the various announcements that have already been made as the club seeks to navigate a way through the financial issues that will arise from the current crisis. We note that the club has made use of the Government’s scheme to furlough a large number of staff and, while the Government will pay 80% of those wages, the club is to be applauded for topping this up and ensuring those members of staff are not financially disadvantaged to this change of circumstances. While the Trust is disappointed that the Club has had to make use of taxpayer money for this purpose, we appreciate that this was unavoidable while other costs remain at their current levels.

The Trust also notes the recent announcement that the Club has agreed a deal with the playing squad and senior leadership to take a 20% deferral of salaries for three months, to be repaid once football is restarted in front of crowds.

While any action that can alleviate short-term cashflow issues is to be welcomed, we should be clear what deferrals mean. They are an agreement to repay the deferred money at some point in the future. While that may be manageable and appropriate for a short period of time, it is very likely that social distancing regulations are going to be in place for quite some time and it is difficult to see football being played in front of crowds at any point in the near future. Maybe not until next year or even longer.  We simply do not know how long these measures will be in place.

That will have a devastating impact on the finances of all football clubs, particularly those like ours that rely on matchday revenues to pay the bills. As Swans fans know better than anyone, a club that spends more than it brings in is not sustainable and will run into major difficulties very quickly. Therefore, The Trust urges all parties to work together to find a way to ensure our club can find a financial path through this crisis.

In terms of the playing squad and management teams, we need to ensure our costs match the new realities. It is patently clear that deferring costs until some unspecified point in the future is unsustainable. Without promotion to the Premier League, or a significant amount of investment, there will be no realistic way to pay them in the future. Cuts to the wage bill and other operating costs will be necessary for the duration of this crisis, and potentially longer as the economy tries to recover. In particular, the stance of the PFA (which is strongly advising its members) needs to change. The longer footballers and their union refuse to accept that a cut in wages is necessary, the more chance that we will see clubs enter administration or liquidation. This may seem unfair, however it is a harsh reality that costs cannot remain the same when revenues are cut so dramatically.  Also, all parties across the footballing world need to wake up to the reality that it cannot be right that clubs claim taxpayers money to pay the wages of employees earning a “normal” wage while highly paid players and others refuse to accept anything other than deferrals to ensure they still get paid in full, even if it is in the future.

From an ownership perspective, we urge our fellow shareholders to work with us to find a solution to these and other issues. While we are clear that the club needs to be run in a sustainable manner, we are currently living through exceptional times and all parties need to work together to ensure the club’s survival.

The future of our football club is of great importance to us all. Without appropriate action being taken, its future is at risk. We urge all parties to work together to ensure our club comes through this, for all our sakes.

Swansea City Supporters' Trust

4th May 2020


JackaremeSeaJackbankjack

Comments

  • edited May 5
    The Trust is Just speaking truth I think.The bottom has fallen out of the football market and inevitably the players will have to accept permanent pay cuts, unless they are prepared to stand by and see their employers disappear.

    For them the 'new normal' should  mean joining the rest of society in just getting by,and hopefully  a job to go to as things improve.
  • Player power is much too powerful when their employer plays second fiddle to the demands they make on them in a health/economic crisis such as the one we are living through at the moment. The Trust statement has it spot on.
  • If they refuse pay cuts make them play. Put them up in a hotel (there is enough empty ones at the moment) away from their family's (they can't use that excuse not to play). If they are kept together and isolated from the outside world the risk of catching covid is reduced after they have been tested from the start. It would only be for a couple of months, funny we never hear them complaining when the clubs take them on tour.
    Before people start bitching about contracts, I have work all through the lockdown, I worked under a national agreement but was basically told change to shifts and the hours I worked or be payed off, my wife is a nurse and we have both had covid, large parts the workforce in the country have to leave home for long periods to make a living, so I have no sympathy for any player who refuses to play.
    If one thing has come out of this lockdown it has shown is how overpaid, spoilt, selfish and out of touch with reality some players are.
    I agree with SeaJack, how many of you would get away with telling your bosses to piss off after taking the money.
  • I’m sorry to hear of your run ins with Covid Gingergit. Thankfully no one I know of including myself have had the dreaded thing so it’s sobering reading to hear of a person/s who have contracted it within the SCFC2 community. I suppose in the weird and wonderful world of football economics the rules that apply to other employees don’t apply with them. It’s unheard of in the real world for an employee to have the potential to bankrupt its employer and come out of it unscathed to boot. Contractually this shouldn’t be allowed to happen so a clause should be in place to prevent this. Maybe it’s something that football clubs across the country need to consider for the future.
  • This is why it was always difficult for Swansea City to remain a PL club, the wages we was paying was unsustainable but we all wanted to keep Gylfi, Llorente, Joe, Bony, Ash, Dan James and McB, when the bigger clubs offer to double their wages. For us to keep them we needed to up the wages too, but we couldn't.
    Take Ash Williams as an example, great player for us, he was on something like £10k a week as a championship player, the day we got promoted to the PL all the players that we wanted to keep had their wages doubled, so Ash was on £20k a week, that was sustainable but each year Ash knocked on Mr Jenkins' door asking for more, when he left for Everton he was on £65k a week plus bonus, unsustainable and Everton offered him even more. Speculate to accumulate was the call from the Jack Army, myself included but you can see why its hard for the smaller clubs to keep up with the bigger clubs.
    We needed to get it right on player purchase every time, unfortunately, we didn't.
    To be fair to the Americans, they kept Gylfi for one more season, Everton offered £32m in 2016, they fought hard to keep him, offering him a bigger wage packet but couldn't continue to keep Everton at bay and sold him in 2017 for £40m.
  • @jollyboy the problem was not paying the players that kept us in the premier league - it was paying the players who contributed little/nothing to the cause but bled our resources dry.
    I know hindsight is 20/20 - but for years we had the correct model of local talent, young and hungry players scouted from elsewhere, and players who were undervalued in the transfer market that fit our style. These were topped up by a couple of really top players who commanded top dollar.
    Once we lost our style we also lost our focus in the transfer market and started "chasing the dragon" with desperate punts on players on huge contracts.

    Nobody  had an issue with any of the players you list (although Llorente was a gamble that paid off), and while we were competing Swansealona style and comfortably holding our own - all was good!
    Remember that yes we did lose Siggy, Ash, Mawson, Ayew, Bony, Shelvey etc. BUT this was driving HUGE profits into our transfer trading (about $100 million just in those names I list). With the right investment this should have been setting us up for long term success - JUST FOLLOW THE PLAN!!!

    The drain on our resources was due to panic purchases  - Bony (2nd time)  A Ayew (both times), J Ayew, Clucas, Narsingh, Fer, Sanches, Abraham etc. 

    Even given all of that chaos we still should have been able to avoid relegation and regroup - It was Carvalhal losing his bottle and a loss of style and pattern that ultimately cost us in the season "run in".

    If anyone wants to add up the net loss on transfers and wages on those players (and all the others you can add to the list) you can see that our finances need not have been half so grim.

    in short relegation was not inevitable - greed and vanity caused us to throw away the winning formula that made our club unique and competitive at the highest level.
    deekayKeithSeaJack
  • Jackarme, I agree with a lot of what you said, no doubt, mistakes cost us in the end and had Cavalihal continued his cavalier approach we would not have been relegated, but maybe it would only have just been a stay of execution?.
    Most people expected us to stay one or possibly two seasons, 7 seasons was fantastic and as said, it could have been 8.
    Bournemouth will come unstuck soon enough, the one thing they've had over us is one manager to keep the ethos of AFCB, we had perhaps 7 managers, all with different ideas, the Swansea Way was key to our success and allowed us to compete but with so many managers, it was always going to be difficult to keep that style.
  • Yes @jollyboy 7 seasons was beyond our wildest expectations - But I really believe we had a sustainable model that could/should have kept us there as a semi permanent fixture. It was internal decay that caused the relegation, and the feckin plan B so lauded by Jenkins and Monk. 
    Yes a plan B is handy to have in reserve - but when plan B replaced plan A (which was the envy of world football) our demise was inevitable.

    What made us special was that we were unique - once we tried to be the same as everyone else on much smaller resources we were toast.
    SeaJackdeekay
  • Jackareme said:
    Yes @jollyboy 7 seasons was beyond our wildest expectations - But I really believe we had a sustainable model that could/should have kept us there as a semi permanent fixture. It was internal decay that caused the relegation, and the feckin plan B so lauded by Jenkins and Monk. 
    Yes a plan B is handy to have in reserve - but when plan B replaced plan A (which was the envy of world football) our demise was inevitable.

    What made us special was that we were unique - once we tried to be the same as everyone else on much smaller resources we were toast.
    I agree but we were swimming against the tide each season, I don't think we intended to become the same as everyone else it was probably changing managers that pushed us down that path. (Brendan, ML, Monk, Curt, Leon, BB, Clement and Cavalihal)
    To find the Leon Brittons and Angel's who could play our A game was now going to cost, big time, and each manager had different ideas on how we should progress. I know Joe Allan would have been great but at that time we had a £7m rated Ki Sung Yueng who wouldn't have featured, clubs higher up the food chain may have thrown caution to the wind and had both on their books but this could have spelt bankruptcy for us, its a fine balance that some will never get but balancing the books was always our the Swansea way.
    We'll look back in 25 years and think, how the flip did we compete favourably and beat the likes of Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Man City and most other clubs apart from Spurs on our limited budget.
  • I know that some are way more connected to the finances than me - but if you add in the revenues from being in the Premier League (TV deals prize money etc), increased gate receipts and merchandising, and a huge profit on transfers we had zero need to struggle. 
    In short it wasn't the amount of revenue available - it was what we chose to do with it post Laudrup.

    The problem was what we did with all this money beyond the fixed costs of salaries etc. Parking the conspiracy theories about this it is clear to me that losing our focus on transfer dealing and contracting was a terminal error.
  • Jackareme said:
    I know that some are way more connected to the finances than me - but if you add in the revenues from being in the Premier League (TV deals prize money etc), increased gate receipts and merchandising, and a huge profit on transfers we had zero need to struggle. 
    In short it wasn't the amount of revenue available - it was what we chose to do with it post Laudrup.

    The problem was what we did with all this money beyond the fixed costs of salaries etc. Parking the conspiracy theories about this it is clear to me that losing our focus on transfer dealing and contracting was a terminal error.
    Our wages were too high and got out of control, read the Swiss ramble guy, he's usually pretty spot on, we see £100m+ coming in and think we are set up for life but every one of our competitors gets the same (or more) so its all relative. We had to spend ours wisely as we had no one to bankroll us if things didn't work out, our gate receipts and commercial revenue were dwarfed by most of our competitors.
    I can't argue that purchases were risky, nor would I want to but had Bony not got injured then who knows, he could have scored us the half a dozen goals we needed to stay up and his second coming wouldn't have been looked at so bad. Ifs and buts I know but it was nip and tuck in our 7th season.
  • Jackareme, Jollyboy,
    when total wages edge towards 78% of total salary or even 83% in 2017, 2016 and 2015, it's only a matter of time before the brown stuff hits the fan. Don't be blinded by reaping large transfer fees for players, the beginning of the end of the PL journey came when panic mode entered Jenkins's brain and he decided to pay ludicrous amounts of cash for Bony and Ayew and entering the cancerous world of cosying up to football agents.

    Years of dining at the top table of the PL corroded people's mindset and like so many other clubs who failed to learn lessons of fighting relegation the inevitable happened.

    Jenkins has been lauded for the signing of managers like Roberto, Sousa, Rodgers and Laudrup but somewhere along the line his magic wand was lost when he allowed the megalomaniac Monk to resettle the playing styles of the team onto the District Line, far away from the Main Line from where the club's name was praised so highly in the media, only to be followed by the garbage churned out by Bradley, Clement and Carbajal.

    deekayJackareme
  • The only thing I'd disagree with you on Colin is Monk, he was management in waiting from the day we entered the PL, I think it came a bit too early for him but lets look at his record, once ML had given up, Monk steadied the ship and we avoided relegation, Michu was finished as a player and we knew it was either him or Chico, the following year, we done the double over Arsenal and Man U, some say the football was terrible, I wouldn't, players were moving on and the likes of Angel and Leon were in their 30's, we had to find replacements, Monk didn't have the European black book like some our continental managers so had to go by our scouting network or pick up British players, there no doubt, he wasn't experience like Brendan in this area but we finished an astonishing 8th in the PL. The following season, it came off the rails and maybe because of the lack of experience in Monk and good ball players who could play the Swansea way, our fluent, possession game came to an end. We revolutionised the PL and most other teams followed us in keeping the ball until something was on, we started it, others caught up. I think Monk had to go but some give him little credit for steering Swansea forward. He was headstrong but that's what made him a good captain and perhaps should have listened a bit more to become a good manager?
  • On Colin's point about Jenkins falling into the sway of agents in the latter years.
    I wonder if had he not kicked out Laudrup and his agent buddy. because he felt they would control him,could the flow of cheapish but talented players be maintained by them ,and keep us competitive,not to mention good to watch.He got rid of them ,but still lost control later.
    Jackareme
  • I agree with both of you in most things ,
    Paying salaries  of 80% is a recipe  for big problems  in the here and now and further down the line , totally unsustainable  .

    Megalomaniac is a rather strong summing up of Garry Monk 
    Were the foundations  on what Swansea City was built on so weak for over nearly ten years fell  apart so quick ,
    Monk was in charge for a fairly short time , how every thing could change so quickly  baffles me ,

    The whole  club management  structure  was responsible  , Chairman  , Board , Managers and Coaches .

    When Monk  was sacked  that would have been the time to re boot , 
    For the Swans to stay in the premier  league it was always going to be tough , recruitment  needed to be along the lines of what preceded ,

    Young hungry players with the ability  to improve  and not players with big transfer  fees and wages  ,

    We all said following  the Swans is like a roller coaster lots of ups and many downs ,

    Keep safe  all .
    Jackareme
  • jollyboy said:
    The only thing I'd disagree with you on Colin is Monk, he was management in waiting from the day we entered the PL, I think it came a bit too early for him but lets look at his record, once ML had given up, Monk steadied the ship and we avoided relegation, Michu was finished as a player and we knew it was either him or Chico, the following year, we done the double over Arsenal and Man U, some say the football was terrible, I wouldn't, players were moving on and the likes of Angel and Leon were in their 30's, we had to find replacements, Monk didn't have the European black book like some our continental managers so had to go by our scouting network or pick up British players, there no doubt, he wasn't experience like Brendan in this area but we finished an astonishing 8th in the PL. The following season, it came off the rails and maybe because of the lack of experience in Monk and good ball players who could play the Swansea way, our fluent, possession game came to an end. We revolutionised the PL and most other teams followed us in keeping the ball until something was on, we started it, others caught up. I think Monk had to go but some give him little credit for steering Swansea forward. He was headstrong but that's what made him a good captain and perhaps should have listened a bit more to become a good manager?
    Football is littered with caretaker managers promoted full time to the manager role after guiding teams away from relegation and you make your own mind up on what reasons most usually find themselves relegated halfway through the season.

    In Monk's case that sacking came around 18 months after his caretaker stint, while the highest finish of 8th in the PL certainly carried fans and the media away with a style of play that was edging slowly away from the direction in which it had been taking by it's previous managers. That season in which his team finished in 8th place I was fortunate to see almost every away game and as nice as it was to return home on the bus chuffed with 3 points I wondered on may occasions how those 3 points could easily have been none.

    I don't believe he took the club forward, most certainly sideways in the players he and Jenkins brought in while the opening friendly v Villareal was an eyeopener when both Bony and Gomis started the game and going in at half-time 3 goals down. Bony was being offered to clubs in the summer and with the gamble being taking that he would be gone before the close of the window, Gomis was brought in, albeit on a free, but costing incredible wages plus signing on fees which ultimately became a huge weight on the club's finances as they desperately tried to offload him in the following seasons. Yes, Sigurdsson was no doubt a great deal by Jenkins, but the likes of Ki, Carroll(loan), Cork, Naughton and Oliveira(loan) all smacked of Jenkins signings.

    Was Monk that arrogant he wouldn't hire an experienced assistant besides having Pep Clotet foistered on him. Who knows, but all of a sudden there was disharmony on the training field and before too long the playing squad was being restructured. Ayew coming in and being sold at the end of his first season was good business but to re-sign him for almost the same amount of cash the club received was borderline incompetence on Jenkins's part.


    Jackareme
  • Not forgetting the loop the loops. Those moments really make your head spin.
  • The thing is Colin, everyone says he was the self appointed DoF after Laudrup, that's just not true, he was that from 2002, the guy who signed the cheques.
    I think it was Ryan Bennett, £3.5m, we were just about to do the deal and the plug was pulled because the DoF didn't feel it was right to be spending that amount, he should have erred on the side of caution on other signings too, like Ayew. The point I'm making is that he was in control of who came in, he didn't do talent spotting, just decided if the figures stacked up. His parting shot was to keep Dan James and make the club a small fortune.
  • I think  most fans have known that Jenkins had the responsibility of looking after the football side of the club from the word go and for those that have closely followed Jenkins's career what he created was a miserly figure who, in the majority of cases, paid as little as he could regarding player recruitment. From one of his very first cash deals in attempting to sign Rushden's Andy Burgess to being gazumped at the last minute when attempting to sign Roger Johnson, Ryan Bennett, Ashley Westwood the list is endless. 
    For somebody who had created that careful approach to spending the club's cash to then not only justify the resigning and spending large fees on Bony and Ayew just gives the impression he had lost his head.
  • I think  most fans have known that Jenkins had the responsibility of looking after the football side of the club from the word go and for those that have closely followed Jenkins's career what he created was a miserly figure who, in the majority of cases, paid as little as he could regarding player recruitment. From one of his very first cash deals in attempting to sign Rushden's Andy Burgess to being gazumped at the last minute when attempting to sign Roger Johnson, Ryan Bennett, Ashley Westwood the list is endless. 
    For somebody who had created that careful approach to spending the club's cash to then not only justify the resigning and spending large fees on Bony and Ayew just gives the impression he had lost his head.
    That cannot be denied, I still think Bony might have come good, just before his injury, I saw glimpses of the former player we had, it was obvious, he needed game time and he was slowly looking sharper, however, we all know injury is part and parcel of football, you don't need me to tell you that Colin Irwin was our record signing, injury blighted his spell with Swansea, was that a waste of money? sh!t happens.
  • Agreed @jollyboy a half fit Wilf would have been awesome - and shit does happen..

    The reason why irwin is not a valid comparison is that he did not join us crocked from a serious injury and no game time in 3 seasons. 
    At the price we paid for Wilf that was the original "hail Mary" that we could ill afford..

    bankjack
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