Swansea City: No prospect of club being sold - chairman Birch

By Gareth VincentBBC Sport Wales
Jason Levien (L) and Steve Kaplan
Jason Levien (L) and Steve Kaplan took control of Swansea City in 2016

Chairman Trevor Birch believes there is no prospect of a change of ownership at Swansea City.

Birch says Swansea's American majority shareholders, Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, are having "no impact" on the running of the club.

Birch also stated he is hoping to ensure Swansea's academy maintains category one status.

"I haven't been brought in to sell the club," Birch told a fans' forum.

"In terms of [the owners'] intentions, I don't think there is anybody out there in any event who would want to buy the club at the moment, so that's a bit of a non-starter.

"There's nobody out there queuing up to buy football clubs.

"In terms of the long-term future of the club, it's about what we can achieve, how we can put a structure in place."

Swansea's American owners have faced criticism from fans since taking charge of the club in 2016.

The Swans were relegated from the Premier League in 2018, with Kaplan and Levien criticised over a perceived lack of investment.

Birch revealed he rarely speaks to the duo, who brought him in as successor to long-time Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins in March 2019.

There has been speculation Birch has been tasked with finding new owners for the club, but he said: ""As far as I am concerned, I am here indefinitely."

He added: "You have an ownership group, but they are having no impact, no effect on the club - absolutely none.

"They are taking no money out, they are not interfering with the way I run the club."

Academy questions

Swansea, who are seventh in the Championship, have been cutting costs ever since they dropped out of the top flight, with a host of players moving on over the last four transfer windows.

Birch was asked at the forum if Swansea's successful academy could be downgraded from category one to category three status.

"We are in a small handful of clubs outside the Premier League that run a category one because it is very, very expensive to run," he said.

"You have to balance putting your money into that as opposed to putting into the first team in terms of player wages.

Ayew 'highly unlikely' to leave in January

"Going forward, youth is going to be at the heart of this club so whatever we do, we are not going to damage our potential to develop the youth.

"We have two training grounds which are expensive to run so that is the reason why the status of the academy is being considered.

"I am doing my utmost to keep both training grounds in operation and the intention will be to maintain our category one."

Birch revealed that central defender Mike van der Hoorn, whose contract is up this summer, will be offered a new deal, but that it will be on reduced terms unless Swansea are promoted in May.

He added that top scorer Andre Ayew is "highly unlikely" to leave the Liberty Stadium this month.

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