Steve Jones Interview

Thursday, 17 May 2001, 0:00
7 mins read

Steve Jones has been a Swansea City player for some five seasons. In that time he has placed his career on the line for the white shirt. During the 1997 play off semi final against Chester City he suffered what was described at the time as” The worst injury I have ever seen ” by Jan Molby.

Finding himself having to make his own way back after the injury, he put himself under a strict training regime and queued with everyone else at Morriston hospital to receive NHS treatment.

The lay off made him realise that when you are on your own as a Swansea City player, you are just that, alone. After a series of defeats John Hollins introduced him back in to the side at Brighton, and Swansea City went on a ten game unbeaten run.

He then had his jaw broken in another fearsome clash at The Vetch Field.

Again he rehabilitated himself in record time, and returned to the side to earn Swansea a play off place at Scunthorpe United. Small niggling injuries have come and gone, but no one can say he hasn’t been the clubs best performer at the back in recent seasons.

For reasons that have still to be explained he was released by the club two weeks ago. To be explained that is until now, the reports from the club regards Jones contract discussions have been somewhat inaccurate to say the least. Steve, infuriated that John Hollins made certain comments to the press regards the contract that may have mislead people now wants some air time.

This site was only too happy to oblige.

So Steve, lets have your side of the contract story ? :

I am a bit annoyed to be honest. The truth is simple. At Christmas I admit I turned down the original offer from the club, mainly because I felt it was derisory. After discussions, a few offers and an improvement, a contract was offered and after a few weeks I decided to sign it. It was a decent offer for our standard, and I decided to sign for another two years. I thought I was worth it, I am a senior player and have sweated blood for Swansea. I got injured, but it wasn’t going to be a long term job so I went to the manager. He said I could sign as soon as I was fit. Taking his word I got fit, and went to see him, he then told me that because of the sale of the club no contract was on offer.

I mentioned that contracts were still being offered to players like Robbo and he said “Sorry the contract has been withdrawn” I said something like “What happens now?” He said, “There’s no contract” Then he released me. That’s the truth, and I think it differs somewhat to what has been said to the press, or should I say gives people the impression that it happened in a different way in the press. I was annoyed.

So basically John Hollins said “get fit and the contract is yours” You did, and he said there wasn’t one ? :

Yes that’s the facts. And as you know I travel in to Swansea from Gloucester every day, I meet up with Roger Freestone at Risca, and he will back me up on this one, that’s what happened.

You were upset when I spoke to you on the phone when the contract was withdrawn. What’s it like not being at the club ? :

I am gutted, okay some will say I should have signed at Christmas, but the offer wasn’t too good, I have a wife and baby to support, and I felt I was worth a bit more. Once it was sorted out I felt fine and wanted to sign, and they said no. You see I want to be a Swansea City player, I don’t want anything else, all I want is to play at Swansea. It means a lot to me to be there, it’s a hell of a shock. I have some great mates there, friends for life, and the supporters are the very best I have seen, they have been so good to me, never once a bad word, just encouragement all the time. I am going to miss that the most, the fans.

Well they recognise effort at Swansea, and admire passion that’s the easy explanation for that :

I know they do, and when we lost at Wembley to Northampton I was really down, their supporters were not a patch on Swansea, the club could be so big if things were different.

Your commitment to Swansea is not in question, never has been :

That’s the real gutter for me, that reason, I loved it there and feel pretty let down.

So what happens now ? :

Well, I am contracted until the end of July, that’s how long I have to find a new wage. I suppose I just hope that someone gets a sniff. I am not an agent orientated player, I haven’t got one, I let the PFA do that for me, they will circulate my availability and we shall see.

And what if the incredible happens and new owners come in ? :

I am here and ready to sign, just get in touch, I would sign that contract now if I could. In fact if the new potential owners are reading this I would sign a pre-sale contract with them, just to see if they buy the club. I would sign an agreement now to be a Swansea player if they buy the place and wait for a while.

So what you are saying to say – Mr. Bradshaw is ” I am available now ” ? :

Yes, I will sign now, and see if the club is sold. If it fails I will move on, if it doesn’t he would have signed his first player.

There’s nothing to lose with that is there ?Well, take it from me he will be informed :

We shall see then, I can only hope, but time is getting on and anything can change at any time. I would be happy to do that though.

How does the training compare to Jan Molby’s, and the current management to when he was at the club ? :

Well you know I think that Jan was the best manager I have played under. So that’s the answer. As for training, well, erm …. I am not going to answer that, I would rather not, it’s not right to go down that road.

So Jan Molby wasn’t a bully as he was reported by some at the club ? :

Never, a bully he was a great manager, he deserved respect and got it from the players. He was approachable and a real players boss. No frills, just real time experience from his days at playing at the very top. We learned loads from him, the players loved him, I challenge you to find one that didn’t. It was the start of real problems when he was sacked.

Everyone I have spoken to have said the same things about him, which puts in to question some of the rubbish put about by the club when he was sacked. He even came up to Gloucester (Midlands Avon & Gloucester Swans) when we had an end of season dinner, 130 people turned up from our supporters club.He charged us nothing :

( Laughs ) I remember I was there, yes well that sums up Jan, and don’t let anyone tell you different. If they do I would say quite simply, they are lying. He was a good manager, and most importantly an honest one, something all players respect.

You have had some great times at the club, any real good moments ? :

Ah yes, there are loads, the championship, being a part of that defence, one which we the players got sorted out, and just loads of memories of you lot and the North Bank frightening every opposition to death with noise when the times were good. I have heard that players are intimidated by the North Bank at Swansea, lets just say I would be happier in a white shirt than any other colour. They have been worth a goal start at some games. That’s the problem, leaving that behind, the fans and all that. It makes me angry thinking about this.

Okay Steve, thanks for the last few years, anything for the fans ? :

Yes, I ‘me sorry it didn’t work out, and I just hope you get what you deserve very soon at the club, promotion but I have to say it’s going to be hard when you see all the players going. And there will be a few more surprises I am sure, and not good ones. I just feel it was a good excuse to get rid of me and hope that I would just go away, there will be a few more feeling like me as the days go on. I just want to say thanks, and I will never forget Swansea.

There’s not much more to say, I didn’t think it would end like this.

A tribute to the club since 1997

And Steve is right, there is nothing more to say. He is a true pro, and will not indulge in slagging off his previous employers. But I will. Because I will not be intimidated by the so say ” football people ” running Swansea City FC. Or any of their cohorts.

Steve Jones no longer plays for Swansea City because of Neil McClure’s wish to save money as he tries to sell the club. That’s the truth but nobody not even a man they call ” Honest John ” has the where with all to point many mislead Swans fans in the right direction. He has presided over a relegation and has not been sacked because Neil McClure had no wish to pay his contract off.

This relegation has brought about the sale of the club, McClure saw it coming and we are about to lose the very best we had, and could hope for during next season. Steve Jones has always been an honest man, and an honest player. Remember he was days away from a leg amputation from that first horrific injury. And where was he three weeks after the injury ? Presenting supporters from The MAGS football team with awards in Gloucester at an end of season get together. He had his leg in metal, he almost fainted, couldn’t walk without help, and still he stuck it out That’s the measure of Steve Jones, and for the blind faith merchants who still tout Hollins and Ninth Floors name as heroes, get real, this man has been destroyed. Destroyed by pathetic management, disgusting underhand tactics and appalling treatment from the very first day Ninth Floor / Silver Shield bluffed and blagged their way in to our great club.

No Morfa, no pitch, a ground falling down through neglect, youth players sold for profit, players being released to the detriment of the club to save money, and petty small minded people with grudges who release players because they became friendly with the fans. That’s the real truth and the individuals crawling around Swansea, killing the club and earning hundreds of thousands whilst honest players are offered a pittance and released are the reason. Swansea City is dying, thousands of Swans fans have voted with their feet, but still the perpetrators remain. What amazes many is that there are still a few supporters who actually think that this administration and management are good for the club. The judgement of these people is frightening.

But you will keep reading the truth on here, and that’s a fact, and we challenge the club to disprove it. In any forum they wish.

And there is lots more truth to come.

Falling On Deaf Ears | RogerFreestone.Com| League Table

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.

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