Told You – Nobody Knows

Sunday, 5 August 2001, 0:00
3 mins read
The most interesting development of the past week has to be the lack of publicity that Swansea City are getting away from the principality of Wales. Agreed, that we need to get interested investors speaking to the clubs owners, or as Mike Lewis states himself, " We could be staring at receivership " So, with the so called " big game " going ahead today at The Vetch Field why is it not even on Ceefax ? We have at the club a " communications officer " and sundry staff who should have been embroiled in promoting this game, should we not ? Maybe I am wrong, maybe I have missed something, so I set about finding out about the publicity wheel for the Swans v Jamaica game today.
The point is this, the vast majority of Swans fans are aware that the game was going ahead, because as the majority of our fan base lies in South Wales the local press, local TV text, and media have given it some coverage. So you should expect a few thousand fans to travel to the Vetch Field this afternoon. Albeit expecting to pay fifteen pounds a head to get in. But what about the Jamaican organisations away from Wales, the social clubs that house massive Jamaican support in Bristol, Gloucester and Birmingham. These social clubs brought vast numbers of coaches of fans to the last Jamaican game in Wales in 1998. So Jackarmy.net spoke to them.
First the Jamaican Society in Bristol were spoken to, and not only did they have no knowledge of the game, they were very upset that they missed the chance of a day out to see their national side play. The last time Jamaica played they took five coaches to Cardiff. The Jamaican Sports and social club in Gloucester where 11,000 afro Caribbean residents live were the same. " Had we known of the game we would have gone by train and coach, it’s only a few hours away, closer than London " was the response. " But ceefax and text isn’t carrying it, and neither is Sport First " So we contacted Sport First the biggest sports paper in the country. A spokesman said, " We have advertised two friendlies today, but didn’t know of the Swansea v Jamaica game. Had they told us we would have carried it, and to be honest probably done a piece about it, Jamaica are very popular in the UK for obvious reasons, it’s a shame " A dip in to other national papers proved the same. The Mail on Sunday also had no details or advertised fixture. When telephoned a spokesman on the sports desk said, " How can we advertise a friendly if we don’t know about it, the world doesn’t begin and end in Wales, it seems to me that Swansea have missed out on a bigger crowd than they would get now "
These people are right, yes Swansea fans knew of the fixture, but the thousands of Jamaican football fans within striking distance of The Vetch did not. And all because the insular thinking of the club believed that Welsh media knowledge was enough. And this is summed up by a call to the Jamaican social club in Erdington, Birmingham. " We found out about the game on Friday by chance, so a few cars of members have gone down to see the game. Had we known prior to that we would have carried at least two coaches down to the game, we took four to Cardiff a few years ago"
No national paper coverage of the fixture. No text, SKY text or ceefax coverage of the fixture. No BBC 5 Live announcement on Sunday morning with the other two friendlies playing today.
And this is not the fault of Michael Lewis. He has come in for some stick recently, but personally speaking he is at this time the only alternative for Swansea City, and cannot champion every Swansea City cause. That’s why we have backroom staff at the club who should have ensured that the publicity wheel was well briefed and versed on the game. Lewis cannot do everything, but his staff should have grasped this nettle two weeks ago and ensured that the NATIONAL papers, text and other outlets advertised this game. They did not, and the financial loss is Swansea City’s. And it’s not as if we don’t need the cash is it ?
Word of mouth is not good enough as our investigation has shown. And the basic rules of publicity, something Lewis is very good at has been lost. Have the backroom staff at Swansea City learned nothing of the ways of the NATIONAL press since Lewis arrived ?
It seems they have not, and we expect them to be involved in the sale of the club and it’s continued good publicity ?
Only the gate for today’s game will tell us if they got it right or not, and anything less that 5,500 means Swansea City are losing money.
Again !

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