Lewis takeover bid foiled

Wednesday, 27 June 2001, 0:00
4 mins read

We can confirm the rumour was true. Lewis who has been busying himself in the buy out process was due to be announced as a part of the new Swans ownership last Friday.

A part of the takeover was to be the sale of Roger Freestone to Oxford United to bolster transfer funds for the coming campaign. These funds would have been instrumental to the Lewis consortiums immediate future as credible owners, as their very limited cash flow in football terms would have left Swansea in a similar position to now with Ninth Floor.

Hearing of the deal with Oxford John Hollins has remained in the City fearing a Freestone sale would go ahead without his input and knowledge. This has meant he has had little time to concentrate on his own business interests away from Swansea, or take a holiday away from football. Hollins return put a stop to the takeover and the sale of Roger Freestone. Freestone himself on hearing the news will approach Lewis today ( 27th June ) for a contract that will see his career finish at Swansea in 5 years time.

Freestone will see the contract award as reward for his service to the club since signing from Chelsea in 1991. Lewis had promised Freestone that any contract or sale discussions would be made known to him immediately. This when he was rumoured to be leaving for Cardiff City. In light of the Oxford talks, discussions that Freestone knew nothing about fans must draw their own conclusions as to Mike Lewis’s agenda at Swansea City.

Lewis is not available to comment to this site, but we have learned that he is in Cardiff this lunchtime with financial representatives of a well known Sunday newspaper. The sale of the club to his own people will be seen by many Swans fans as a scam by Mike Lewis to further his own Swansea interests, and obtain a vote on to the FAW committee.

Over the past season he has seen his credibility dwindle with the supporters, and at the end of the season he became the focus of anger as Swansea were relegated to the third division due to a lack of investment, and behind the scenes wranglings that have put the immediate future of the club in doubt.

Neil Mcclure was also behind the last minute decision to pause the sale to Lewis’s consortium. Reasoning behind that is the clear possibility that he could take for himself one last slice of the Swansea cake, and secure the transfer fee for himself as opposed to letting the new owners have it.

Of course this scuppered the financial plans of Mike Lewis, hence the no sale. It is hard to believe that Mcclure withdrew from the sale as a result of his affiliation to Swansea City, and wanting to keep Roger at the club for the best interests of next season. John Hollins will see it differently. He has been seen as a pawn in the Swansea chess match over the past four years and many fans believe he is again being manipulated by the board to do exactly as they dictate.

His actions as a manager tend to confirm this with wild statements to the press when the team were clearly relegated back in March and April, and his failure to buy in players last summer which would have seen the club still in the second division. The sale of Freestone would have been a signal to many that he has no power base at The Vetch Field, and that certain figures like Lewis were in fact the ones in control at Swansea City.

The very fact that Hollins has failed to breach this subject to the media and most importantly the fans will anger many, and again confirm the belief he has people above him at the club who dictate day to day issues. Unlike many managers Hollins has alienated himself with Swans fans over this, and his remarks when questioned about all issues at Swansea City have shown him to be under severe pressure, and not a man in control of his own managerial destiny.

But do the issues over the Freestone sale at last show a man with the club at heart, or a man who has once again seen his pride hurt and at last is fighting back ? If not for the good of the club, for the good of his own credibility. Only time will tell. The players return to training on July 2nd with John Williams a key part in Hollins plans for the season.

Williams who has had a vast number of clubs since his sale from Swansea City at a massive profit in 1992 returns with a monumental task on his shoulders. At 33 years of age he needs to finish the season with 20 plus goals to give the Swans promotion push any credibility. Many Swans fans doubt his abilities to do this. The Swansea summer story is not over yet, and this exclusive piece of information, leaked to this site today will no doubt have the Welsh press pack clambering for the real truth about the immediate future of Swansea City.

Fans will liken this season to 1985 when the club nearly lost it’s league status as a result of mismanagement and poor administration.

Then one Douglas Sharpe ( with many others ) picked up the pieces. Today there seems to be only Mike Lewis, and Swansea fans will be chilled to the bone to learn of the past weeks events, and his part in them.

How can the sale of Swansea’s best goalkeeper to bolster transfer funds be a forward movement when in reserve the club have already given away a whole host of players, including Carl Mounty seen as the only credible replacement to Freestone, but not for at least another three years. It seems that Michael Lewis has a lot to answer for ( no pun intended ) and Swans fans will await his reply with baited breath.

He has some tough questions to answer, and is being watched much closer than he thinks over all Swansea City matters

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