This evening saw Swansea City Supporters Trust hold a Fans Forum to discuss the issue of a chunk of our football club being sold to foreign buyers – most likely John Moores and Charles Noell. It was a full and frank discussion that more than anything reinforced just how lucky we are to have an organisation fighting tooth and nail to keep our club safe…
…but the bombshell of the evening was delivered by an attending journalist announcing that any deal with the American duo appears dead in the water!
The journalist in question (whose name escapes me as I rush through this small article on tonight’s proceedings) took the microphone and announced that he’d spoken to the club before this evening’s event and he’d been told that there was little appetite on either side (the club or the Americans) for a deal for 30% of the shares to be brokered.
When he was asked in return whom he’d spoken to within the club he delivered the time old easy answer of “a club source”.
Now call me cynical if you like – and let’s face it you’d be right to do so – but isn’t it a bit strange that the chances of a deal have been played up all the way along, there was no rebuttal of Supporter Director Huw Cooze’s suggestion earlier this week that a deal looked inevitable…
…and then just before the fans get together to discuss (and likely oppose) any sale of shares it gets released that the deal is off?
I’ve mentioned before that I think there’s some naughty stuff happening to undermine the Trust’s position and I’m firmly of the view that this is another example of what amounts to a clever campaign to manipulate the media and soften any opposition.
Well it won’t work, tonight’s excellent meeting made that very clear!
I’m not going to relay every question and answer that was discussed tonight – I’m too knackered after a LONG day for that – but I do want to stress some very important points that everyone should remember and share with their friends:-
- Any deal on the table (or now off it, if this journo is to be believed) is NOT an investment; there is no “pot of gold” for the club to “take us to the next level” if/when any deal goes through. It is simply a private transaction that will make selling shareholders a lot richer personally
- The Trust are insisting on any deal including a new shareholder’s agreement that would give them “a right of veto” – thus ensuring that damaging decisions, such as changing colours from white to, say, RED, could be blocked at source
- The wheels started turning on the attempts to sell well over a year and a half ago
- The envisaged infrastructure improvements – buying/expanding the Liberty, Category 1 Academy status, Fairwood improvements – will cost somewhere in the region of £50million
- The Trust have made two attempts to take their shareholding to the “magical” 25% but have been rejected out of hand by fellow shareholders
- Only 1,300 out of 12,000 Trust members have FULL MEMBERSHIP and the voting rights that goes with it
I don’t think anyone in the room this evening would begrudge certain shareholders cashing in some of their chips and making a profit; what does annoy many, me included, is that they are not being straight about it. Tell it as it is; “There’s a lot of money on offer and I’d like to take it and secure my family’s future” instead of dressing it up as an investment into the club that’s needed if we want to progress instead of going backwards.
It’s almost as if we the fans are being made to feel guilty about having reservations about any deal, and we are actively preventing the club from being showered with money that will take us into the Champions League and beyond.
Well our Supporters Trust won’t be manipulated in that fashion and is fighting to put the record straight – if you are reading this article then please do your bit to help them by telling everyone you know that any potential deal will only benefit selling shareholders, and is very firmly NOT an investment.
What came across loud and clear to me tonight is that Swansea City is in the process of significant change and the club as we’ve known it for the last decade has gone. But although that in itself gives me cause for concern (I like to work on the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” principle) I’m heartened by the fact we already have a strong mechanism in place to oppose anything that puts the long term future of our club in jeopardy.
Swansea City fans have fought for the club’s survival before and we are more than prepared to do so again…not for us the lame and pathetic opposition Cardiff fans finally mustered against Vincent Tan (after dropping their panties for him and Sam Hammam before him). Oh no. We can, we have, and we WILL fight for our club to keep it safe and solvent.
I sincerely hope that is a message that gets back to the shareholders, the Americans and any other potential “investor” after tonight.