Spitting Feathers

by Nigel Davies

The place where the Editor’s ‘ead explodes in the most spectacular fashion…




Let me tell you where I am…

No, I’ve not suddenly become a millionaire, sat in a high backed leather chair ready to ruin the dream of some sweating, wide eyed and hopeful investor in the Dragon’s Den.

Nope. I’m still just the penniless Editor of A Touch Far Vetched and I want to make it very clear what the editorial policy of this new electronic version of the fanzine will be towards Swansea City Football Club.

Put quite simply ATFV loves the club and will back it to the hilt but totally despises the American owners.

It’s a weird feeling following Swansea City these days; over the last few months the decisions have suddenly become coherent ones again and the approach towards the local community and fan base has improved dramatically.

It FEELS like OUR club again, and that’s down to the way it is being run by Trevor Birch, Leon Britton and Steve Cooper.

The self imposed exile of the Americans has changed the feeling around the club and the disappearance of Huw Jenkins and Leigh Dineen has lanced a festering boil that was poisoning the relationship between the club and the Jack Army.

I personally feel a sense of love and pride about my club again and I will use the platform of ATFV to support the Chairman, his staff, the management and players in any way possible (although all are fair game for a bit of traditional football fanzine humour and satire).

Equally, I still harbour deep suspicion of Kaplan, Levien and their motley collection of Z list American actresses and celebrity dentists in their rancid Hedge Fund, and I will use that same platform to fight any decision they make that’s not in the best interest of Swansea City Football Club with every fibre of my being.

For over a decade A Touch Far Vetched supported the regime running Swansea City…the likes of Jenkins and Dineen were praised to the hilt in probably 95% of the content we ever produced. And rightly so, for they were part of a club set up that brought us the best times we’ve ever had.

Despite our support in print, and in the form of regular cash donations for the Youth Development Department, this publication was treated with contempt behind the scenes, and me personally right along with it.

I never made an issue of it publicly (well, extremely rarely) as I felt it would be churlish and it didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

I won’t let that happen again though and I will speak honestly in these pages about how we are treated…

…and I’ll practice what I preach right now by again heaping praise on Trevor Birch and his staff.

It’s ironic that I probably have the best relationship that I’ve ever had with the club, despite my very clear objection to the very existence of its owners.

That makes no odds to Birch and he just wants to use any vehicle at his disposal to engage with the fans and improve the club’s relationship with them and with the local community.

One way to do that is to engage on a sensible and mutually beneficial level with ATFV because he knows that he can use us to put the record straight on issues where necessary but equally he’ll get an honest rebuke when the club gets it wrong.

I also want to say a huge thank you to Jonathan Wilsher, Head of Media & Marketing at the club, for authorising our use of club photographs – this will allow us to enhance our articles with some of the best Swans imagery around and that makes such a difference to the quality of what we produce.

But I want all our readers to be assured that, much as I want to foster a good relationship with the club, much as I want to support the improving way the club is behaving, it will not stop me from writing something negative on YOUR behalf if necessary.

So that’s where I am…love the club again, hate the Americans and can’t wait for them to do a Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden or indeed a Huw Jenkins and declare themselves OUT in true Dragon’s Den style.

Every time I type the Chairman’s surname autocorrect sees fit to change it from Birch to Bitch – if any escape the proofreading process Trevor it’s a pure accident…honest, Bitch…


The start of this season has been blighted by the events surrounding Bolton and Bury football clubs, the latter finding itself expelled from the English Football League.

The financial meltdowns experienced by those clubs were extreme but a signpost of what’s coming for many more clubs as greed and the need to keep up and be successful continue to tear the fabric of our game apart.

Given our own club’s precarious financial state after a disastrous relegation from the Premier League – often the catalyst for crisis these days – it makes the achievement of topping the Championship table at the international break all the more commendable.

But we really need to remember that without the work of Potter last season and Cooper and Birch this season, we could be right where Bolton and Bury have found themselves.

And whilst the EFL have rightly received their fair share of flak for allowing unsuitable owners, in our case the blame would reside with our so called “fans” Huw Jenkins and Leigh Dineen, who engineered a sale to the most unsuitable people they could find so that they could profit massively from a sale, siphon off even more through highly paid jobs and sod the long term future of the club.

Things are a lot better at Swansea City thanks to Birch’s astute financial handling and an unprecedented fire sale but we are by no means out of the woods.

If things go belly up Bury style then it’s not the EFL we should curse, but those local people who stripped away all the protection the Supporter’s Trust was designed to provide in order to fill their own wallets.

It’s great to see Leon Britton promoted to Sporting Director but the downside is that his growing role at the club has led to him leaving Twitter. My social media experience will be much poorer without his biting banter with Lee Trundle and Owain Tudur Jones in particular. Oh well, at least there’s still Piers Morgan to snigger at.

2 spitting feathers