Trust Statement

Friday, 28 December 2001, 0:01
3 mins read

Swansea City Supporters Trust would like to issue the following statement in light of the non-payment of the players’ wages and the ensuing statement made by the chairman, Tony Petty.

The Trust is astounded to find that Mr Petty is attempting to lay the blame for the club’s perilous financial position at other parties’ doors. It was, after all Mr Petty who instructed the Club to fight the court case from a position where it was already ‘hopelessly insolvent’ according to the judge.

The club defeated the administration petition having told the court it had a further £1.1 million pledged to it from a number of sources. It would appear that in reality all these pledges were all totally worthless.

Where were these pledges when the club, a month later ‘in the short term, effectively ran out of money’? It is therefore nonsensical to claim that the costs of the Court case were ‘ directly responsible for the Club’s immediate financial difficulties’.

It is fair to say that had the ruling gone the other way it is likely that we would not be in this position now. The lack of any parties coming forward with investment cannot be blamed directly or indirectly on anyone other than the current owners and their advisors. It is through their management or lack of it that has seen decisions made that the supporters of this club cannot understand nor forgive.

The way and the timing of the players not being paid at Christmas is ample evidence of this. Mr Petty continues to propose a one third free share issue to season ticket holders and of course we embrace any initiative that gives the supporter a greater say in the direction its club takes. After all this is exactly why the Trust was set up. However given the financial standing of the club, we would view this as being an extremely costly exercise.

We are led to believe that any such offer must, under Company law, be backed by a full prospectus The money spent on such an exercise would be, in our opinion, better spent on the day to day running of the club with the payment or at least part payment of the players salaries being the first priority. Of course if he still wishes to donate these shares then we would suggest that this be in favour of the Trust, where ANY supporter, for the cost of membership, could benefit. 1300 members/supporters would do so straightaway. It is well acknowledged that Mr Petty has received offers from local concerns for his ownership of the club. These have generally been rejected out of hand and in many instances, have not even received the courtesy of an acknowledgement – one came from the Trust itself.

He now claims to be ‘in discussion with a consortium ‘. The Trust is aware that this consortium is not the one which supporters would readily link with the club and also, through their daily discussions have no knowledge of another local group that have an interest.

This leads us to believe that the consortium in question is not locally based. The Supporters Trust is here for the long term benefit of Swansea City Football club and is willing and prepared to talk to anyone who can further it success. It will support any initiative that can introduce a long term owner who is intent on building the club into a successful force once again.

However, if this new consortium has no emotional ties with the Club, The City of Swansea or even the local area then we must question what motives they have in wanting to acquire 67% of a football club that is heavily insolvent. Swansea City needs owners that have the club and the City of Swansea at heart and not people that see it as a vehicle to make money as in the past.

The Trust therefore urges Mr Petty, as before, to transfer his entire shareholding into local ownership, via the Trust and with immediate effect. We will then ensure that this shareholding is safely delivered into the right hands and to those that will only benefit the club. If Mr Petty, as stated, is to take any satisfaction from this episode, then he must give the club back to the supporters and the people of Swansea. The faith of the community and businesses must be rebuilt and from that base the supporters will return to give the City a vibrant and successful professional club.

This is, we believe the only way forward for the good of SCFC and we urge Mr Petty to embrace this. It is obvious from his statement that he has no desire to remain at Swansea. We would also like to take this opportunity, on behalf of our members and all supporters to thank the players and coaching staff for their continued loyalty to the club and are sure that this will be reciprocated when matters are resolved.

The supporters fully acknowledge the effort that the players had to show in gaining the result on Boxing Day. It is that type of effort that epitomizes the feelings people and players have for SWANSEA CITY FOOTBALL CLUB .

We also wish all the players and support staff a Happy, Prosperous and Successful New Year.

 

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