Swansea City: American owners defend transfer activity after criticism

Huw Jenkins, Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien
Steve Kaplan (second left) and Jason Levien (right) kept Huw Jenkins (left) as chairman when they bought Swansea City

Swansea City's American owners have defended their transfer activity after criticism from fans and pundits.

Federico Fernandez, Jordan Ayew, Jordi Amat and Sam Clucas all left on transfer deadline day, bringing the total number of departures to 12.

The club's Supporters' Trust says such moves have left "a wafer-thin squad".

But owners Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan say a "cultural change" was needed, adding "tough decisions" had to be made to secure the club's future.

In a wide-ranging statement, the majority shareholders say the Championship club is paying the price for mistakes made while unsuccessfully attempting to stay in the top flight last season.

"After seven years in the Premier League, relegation was a bitter pill to swallow," the statement said.

"Revenues decline dramatically - even when you factor in parachute payments - and you are inevitably left with players determined to leave the club."

One senior centre-back

Alfie Mawson and Kyle Bartley also departed the Liberty Stadium earlier in the summer, leaving Mike van der Hoorn as the Swans' sole senior centre-back.

"We cannot afford to feel sorry for ourselves because that will be be perceived as a point of weakness that other clubs will try to leverage against us," the statement added.

"Relegation has to be seen as a rebirth for Swansea - a chance to press the reset button. Instead of constantly being on the back foot fighting for survival, we want to rebuild our club on a strong financial footing with an exciting brand of passing football and players who are eager to improve and hungry to achieve."

Levien and Kaplan say they sold leading players "who made it clear they did not want to play for Swansea City in the Championship".

They added: "To try and keep those players has a corrosive effect on the club as a whole."

Loan signings?

The pair also pledged to support manager Graham Potter and recruitment analyst Kyle Macaulay as they seek to bring in loan players.

"As a result of this window we have improved our financial footing and have positioned ourselves for a stronger and more secure future," the statement added.

"There is still work to be done because the loan market is still open and we will do everything we can to support Graham and Kyle in the immediate weeks before the market closes.

"In terms of recruiting players, again we had to be disciplined as we could not - and would not - put the club in a position where, in our view, the fees and wages demanded were not in the best interests of Swansea City.

"All money received from player sales has gone back into the club.

"We have brought in young players who want to be part of Swansea's future and we believe there is a nucleus of talent and desire here now."

The statement concludes: "Graham asks his players to be brave. To rise above the culture of fear of mistakes and to work hard to constantly improve.

"We must ask nothing less of ourselves."

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