SoS in ATFV
# 1 Forward Planning Gives Hope for the Future
By Swansea oh Swansea Editor Steve Carroll
Bringing back ATFV as a fanzine meant a recruitment drive of our own and one of the Editor’s best signings is Steve Carroll, who writes and edits the excellent SoS fanzine. In his first column for the elder and better ATFV (sorry, not sorry Steve – Ed.) our star signing shares his thoughts on an improved transfer policy at the club.
9th August 2018 and 31st January 2019. Two infamous days in the recent history of Swansea City. The first one saw four players depart and only one arrive and the second saw three depart, none come in and two departures fall through at the last minute.
Deadline day had become the day of dread for the Jack Army, on the way to Blackburn for the final game of last season me and my mate jokingly said we were going to book the Friday off work so we could go and drown our sorrows after another inevitable shit show as the transfer window closed.
But things were different this time, we actually appeared to have a plan rather than getting to the final day and accepting any offer for any player.
There was no doubt that players would have to be sold to make up the £30 million financial shortfall that was coming our way as the Premier League parachute payments decrease.
Selling Dan James early was always going to be inevitable, but rather than accepting an abysmal loan to buy deal a few months previously, this time we managed to get a far better deal of £15 million rising to £18 million which took the pressure off the club financially.
Oli McBurnie was the one player I was hoping we wouldn’t sell, but when you get offered £20 million it’s very hard to say no, even if you don’t have any financial issues, so we simply couldn’t turn down the money on offer from Sheffield United
Once that deal was concluded we were in no rush to sell anyone else other than those who were deemed surplus to requirements, although we did shift Jordan Ayew for a small fee to further reduce our outgoings.
The biggest shock was seeing first Borja Baston and then Andre Ayew reintegrated into the first team picture. Both have excelled in our superb start to the season and with our financial position looking more secure and a lack of interest in both players we’ve managed to keep hold of both which is a huge boost if we are aiming for promotion.
Before that though we strengthened the squad before the domestic transfer window closed in early August. Jake Bidwell was a very early arrival and we had to wait until late July before the next new signing was made with Ben Wilmott joining on a season long loan from Watford.
Once the McBurnie deal was officially announced though we saw a flurry of transfer activity which gives the impression that we had a few deals in progress but needed the financial assurances of the money for our 24 goal striker before we could push the green button.
Freddie Woodman, Kristoffer Peterson, Aldo Kalulu and Sam Surridge all joined the Swans in the space of a week. It gave us a much needed a boost that improves the first team and gives us depth in every position – something sorely missed last term.
There can be no doubt that Trevor Birch’s arrival has heralded this new strategy and it’s a huge improvement on the shambles that Swansea City has been since the American takeover.
Birch is very experienced at digging clubs out of financial holes and was clearly brought in to steady the ship and what we’ve seen so far should leave us all feeling very encouraged. There’s been no outlandish statements, just realism and honesty which is all we’ve been asking for.
Tough times may still lay ahead but it certainly feels like there is a plan on how to tackle any issues we will be faced with. You’ve only got to look at the likes of Bolton and Bury as to how things can go if you don’t get your house in order.
The older generation of Swansea City supporters will remember those feelings all too well from the mid 1980’s when we went out of business.
With Birch at the helm we won’t need to worry about finding ourselves in such a desperate situation.
And as he’s shown thus far, we won’t have to worry about a truly dismal deadline day again…
…for a while at least!