Bo Eckland Interview

Thursday, 23 May 2002, 0:00
6 mins read

Home >Story Index> Bo Eckland talks to

For the record Bo Eckland is the brother of well known Hollywood actress Britt Eckland, and involves himself in investment in companies which he feels have some hope of success in the future. He travelled with The Midlands Avon & Gloucester Swans to Ninian Park for the FAW Premier Cup Final.
JA.Net – What has made you once again visit Wales and show interest in Swansea City AFC ?
BE – Quite simply I am going to the game against Cardiff having travelled over here from Sweden. My friend Tony Jenkins is a mad Swans fan and his passion has not been lost on me. I wanted to see what it was all about, and this was a good time for me to come over from Sweden and see first hand what it is all about. – But this is not the first time you have been to Wales, is that right ?
BE – I have been here many times, and talked to Mr Sharpe back in 1996 when he was keen to move the club in to the hands of other people, then he did business with Neil Mcclure and Steve Hamer who seemed to make many right noises, but as time showed that didn’t quite work out for them.
JA.Net – Why do you think that was ?
BE – Well, they misjudged Swansea fans I think. Knowing Tony I felt that they very much misunderstood just how astute Swans fans are, some of the things they said about stadiums and five year plans were very foolish, and were always going to come back and haunt them.
JA.Net – How do you see yourself in any future Swansea investment ?
BE – The area is good for investment, and for that to happen the local area has to open their eyes beyond their own boundaries. I see Sam Hammam at Cardiff moving things forward and feel that this vibrant country has space for more than just one area to feel proud about. At this time I am being guided by people who know Swansea and the area, and in time I will hopefully be able to make some form of judgement on what I can do – maybe.
JA.Net – If things are right, and you feel good about investing in the community of Swansea, or the football club will this be something that can be forwarded quickly ?
BE – Of course, but I like to see things for myself, and feel 100 % happy with everyone I am dealing with.
JA.Net – Hence your visit to Wales for this game ?
BE – Yes, but I wanted to see what all the fuss is about, and here we are in England some 100 miles from Swansea and I see nearly 30 Swansea fans in a pub in Cheltenham. And I know the season has been bad, very bad. So what does that tell me about Swansea fans and their commitment to the club ? Everything, and this is good. For this coach this evening to be nearly full with 50 of you after this season says many things about your character and your feelings on your club.
JA.Net – I know that you have been kept up to date on all Swansea matters for some years, and this shows you are not some fly by night chancer, but many will say when will you make that final move in to Swansea ? And what will it involve ?
BE – I think the time is getting quite close for me to either do this thing or just forget about it altogether, and if I do make my mind up to move ahead that should be soon, but maybe not in the way that many will think. I need to speak to some advisors back in Sweden first, and look at the whole thing, and see what I can bring to all of this, that is if I can, but somehow it feels quite good.
JA.Net – Okay we will speak to you after the game.
As many know some 1,500 Swansea City supporters attended the fixture, and added to a atmosphere not witnessed at Ninian Park this season ( By the admission of many Cardiff fans there, and two we know personally ) The after match scenes were not healthy for Welsh football but casting that aside we felt a further word with Mr Eckland was a good idea.
JA.Net – Okay Mr Eckland, how did that all go for you ?
BE – I have never seen anything or witnessed anything like that before. It is not known in Sweden. The passion from Swansea’s fans was very exciting. Thy sang and sang all game, that was an experience I have never had before, not ever. It leaves me with a feeling of euphoria.
JA.Net – It has been a bad season for us and you have seen us at our worst as a club, but that is changing with good people at the helm now, but how do you see things regards your involvement now ?
BE – I have to go to a quiet room to think, many would now be so happy to be involved after tonight’s passion, but it is sensible now for me to go away and look at everything, but I cannot say how euphoric that experience was. I am sorry but that was really overwhelming.
JA.Net – Swansea City need clever and intelligent investment with people with the right agenda, and you have already pin pointed that someone coming in with McClure’s attitude is doomed to fail, and we respect that. But what makes you different to the rest ?
BE – The fact I know about people and respect their wishes, how can you cast aside the passion Swansea fans have for their club and criminalise everything for your own gain ? People who know me will tell you that I know when something is right, and I wouldn’t come all the way from Stockholm on a whim.
JA.Net – Okay, that’s about it, any chance we may see you at The Vetch Field in the future in some form of investment capacity ?
BE – As I said there is scope for all manner of things, and sometimes not just the obvious. But if I do get involved it will be for the right reasons and the right reasons only, andthat’s all I can say for now. There are many things that anyone could do at Swansea, and that involves creativity and forward planning, and we have lots of that. I have enjoyed tonight more than I ever thought I would, and for all this passion to come out of this very bad season tells me that if things are right on the pitch this club could be as big as Cardiff City, but then you knew that anyway, didn’t you.
JA.Net comment
Bo Eckland has been watching Swansea matters for some years, it is clear he has no intention of buying the club, and that he has respect for the people at the helm at the moment. However, he is financially sound as an individual and has worked in commerce for many years. What he can bring, and when he can bring it are questions yet to be answered. But we have a sneaky feeling the summer will bring Mr Eckland back to the fore again. And for now that’s the best we can hope for with the club sound off the pitch, and Nick Cusack working tirelessly to forward the playing staff. Things are much better now the season has ended and for those maybe a bit impatient on the playing front we say ” Be patient ” But at least this time when we say that we know that the club will endeavour to deliver. As opposed to the last five years when all we have heard are the words of con men.
Things are slightly better than they were last week, and indeed the week before. It’s a gradual process that requires the support of all of us. And fingers crossed that this time we have a bit of luck on our side too. Don’t forget that Nick Cusack and Alan Curtis know what’s required, and for once we have people there at Swansea who care and want to succeed. And that for the first time in a long time this should make the summer that more pleasant and happy.
Mcclure has gone, Petty has gone, Lewis has gone, Hollins has gone and the lies have gone.
Surely that’s something worth celebrating ?
It won’t happen overnight, but happen it will, and they deserve the support of all of us.

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