Depression, Depressing, Disaster, Destruction!

What a sad way for me to start writing about the Swans again as, barring a mathematical miracle, the club we all love meekly watched its Premier League status stripped away as a brave Huddersfield side displayed all the attributes we used to have to seal a point at Chelsea to secure their own safety.

I’ve not written about the Swans for months. More than that, I haven’t attended a single game during the Carlos Carvalhal era as I succumbed to a period of depression and anxiety that began at the turn of the year. I won’t dwell too much on the reasons but suffice to say a cancer scare in the family coupled with extreme pressure in the “day job”, a serious chest infection and a double dose of dental surgery led to a mini meltdown that left me unable to attend games. Seven weeks off work and an increase in medication (along with the cancer scare being a false alarm) led to a recovery of sorts but a chronic case of writer’s block remained.

More than that, having not attended games I found that I had no desire to start going to the Liberty again despite my recovery and so I gave away my season ticket. I debated with myself whether to renew and finally did so on the last day, more out of giving myself more time to consider it next season than anything else.

So I stayed away, with thoughts in my head that the regime in charge of the club and the Premier League greed were driving forces in my sudden aversion to watching the Swans. I left behind the seething anger that bubbled up and led to me joining the Swansea City Supporters Alliance (the stress of which was another contributory factor in my meltdown) and concentrated on more important things in my life.

I convinced myself that I didn’t care. I was wrong.

Last night’s point for Huddersfield which all but condemned the Swans to relegation struck me silently and a tad unexpectedly, like a knife sliding under the rib cage to pierce a heart that broke a long time ago when the club I was so proud of was dismantled in return for a lorry load of dollar bills.

Up until that point I’d felt almost immune to the stress of a relegation fight; the behaviour of Jenkins and Dineen, highlighted once more in shocking detail as an employment tribunal verdict exposed the lengths the pair were willing to go to in order to force through the sale of the club, just wore me down. Throw in a group of constantly underachieving yet massively overpaid players and my sheer revulsion of Premier League in general and my disillusionment totally smothered the bond I have with the club I have followed for more than forty years.

I’ve got over my depression but I can’t escape the fact that it is depressing to witness the disastrous destruction of a relegation brought about by the current regime that allies American imbeciles with an ever increasingly egotistical Chairman too arrogant to accept he’s been way out of his depth for a long, long time.

I must say though – and I know there won’t be many that agree with me here – the loss of Premier League status on a purely football level doesn’t phase me in the slightest. Whisper it quietly but I’m already actually looking forward to next season in a fully competitive league with the prospect of a core of home grown players that actually care about the club they are playing for. And I know that I’m not alone in that having spoken to a few long term fans about this today.

And after spending most of my life watching the Swans in the bottom two divisions the prospect of a season in the second tier holds no fears for me – the Premier League is not the be all and end all of football and to be honest I’d have been less inclined to retake my seat next season if it was to watch the same awful quality brought to us by the same damaging regime. Another season of “sell off any quality, bring back old players, sack the manager after a bad start and then desperately try to reach 40 points” whilst Jenkins and Dineen continued to pocket three quarters of a million in wages to deliver failure for their American masters was about as appealing as spending an hour stuck in a lift with John van Swede Head.

No, where the real anger and desolation comes in is the effect that relegation will have on the Swansea area in particular and the South Wales economy in general. Many jobs will go at the club – they’ll probably already be picking up their P45s in some cases – and the loss of the estimated £50m generated by having a Premier League club will be keenly felt by businesses all across the city and beyond.

The players won’t care, they’ll keep picking up their fat salaries or simply move on (Ki and Andre Ayew will probably be consulting their agents by mobile phone as they half heartedly run around the Liberty pitch against Stoke) but “Dawn in Hospitality” or “Peter in the media department” will probably have to head to the nearest food bank before popping in to the job centre!

What makes this whole sorry situation even sadder is that it never had to come to this…even if the club was sold to Levien and Kaplan it would have been far less damaging if the sale had been conducted in a responsible, ethical manner instead of the devious, dirty manner designed to cripple the Supporters Trust and neutralise the one thing that could secure our club’s long term safety for generations to come.

That’s the most depressing thing about our demise – it’s been entirely self inflicted.

Already the shockwaves are starting to ripple through the club with the news that Carlos won’t be kept on after the final game this season and the Trust calling once again for the removal of Huw Jenkins.

One thing’s for sure, with safety no longer in the balance the atmosphere in the Liberty on Sunday will hostile bordering on malevolent. In many ways I’m glad I won’t be attending the match as it will be quite sad to witness what things have come to. But the many people that were put off protesting whilst there was still survival to play for will have no such restriction on Sunday and it will be their only chance to make their feelings known to those most responsible for our demise.

And it won’t get any easier for the likes of Jenkins, Dineen, Kaplan and Levien once the season draws to a close late Sunday afternoon as the inquest will begin in earnest before Monday morning has reared its ugly head. And that inquest will go on for a long time to come as the various factions (such as the Americans, the Chairman and VC and the Trust) work around and probably against each other.

It’s going to be a long, hard and yet morbidly fascinating summer…

…one of the challenges for me will be staying safe enough to write about it!


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