Swansea City finances remain cause for concern as £3m more “invested”

Saturday, 1 June 2024, 10:00
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3 mins read

Such now has become the need to issue more shares in the club on a monthly basis that these days it does not warrant anything more than a passing mention which was confirmed by Swans Trust on Thursday following the filing of the shares at companies house on the same day.

This release of shares with investment into the club is the fourth such release this year with a further one expected next month (as confirmed by the Trust) meaning that since the end of February a further £10.5m has been invested into the club by the majority ownership group with the Trust shareholding now diluted down to under 10% as a direct result.

There are a few ways in which this investment can be viewed.   The first one is that we should be grateful that money is being placed into the club without an increase in our debts which is certainly something that we want to avoid where at all possible.  The majority ownership do not seem afraid to place money into the club which many will see as a good thing.

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However, looking at this from a different angle the most natural level of concern is that the club is needing to be propped up to the levels that we are currently seeing.   Add this £10.5m to the £10m new investment last summer and a further £3.5m in November and you have a position where the club is needing that kind of figure just to balance the cashflow position that we are seeing.   Whilst large aspects of this are seen now as “natural” for a Championship football club the questions have to be raised as to what kind of payments are we making to a squad that, at best, last season looked average at best.

With a further £3m expected in the next month the evidence is clear for all to see of the need for some dramatic cost cutting at the club to take place.  Whilst there was some comfort taken by some at the release of the accounts, any thoughts that the club are on a sound financial footing should be taken away every time that this level of investment is needed.

Of course the names behind the investment remain invisible due to the continued presence of the LLC that was set up when the club changed hands back in 2016 but the simple fact remains that without this level of financial injections on a regular basis the club would be losing in excess of £20m per year, and in many cases more.

Back when the accounts were released we talked in our review of those about a broken player trading model and this has never been exposed more than it is this summer with the Swans needing to be more active in the market than ever before but make no mistake this is not coming off the back of multiple player sales with valuable saleable assets within the squad very much in the minority – something not true from previous seasons.

Whichever of the two takes you have on the investment the words of Swans Trust largely remain unchanged and they said – upon a previous investment – “We welcome new money into the club, especially when it is in exchange for equity rather than through loans that would increase the debt load on the club.”

Back in February they added “We are being regularly updated on the club’s finances on a monthly basis and we have made recommendations for the club to provide further information to supporters on the importance of recognising where financial investments such as these fit within the club’s overall strategy.”

As with most things that happen with the majority ownership that information remains unforthcoming and the complete lack of transparency has been a concern for the last eight years and does not change.   We are told information is given to the Trust on a regular basis and this has no reason not to be believed but the lack of information given to the average fan will remain a cause for concern.   And there appears to be no desire to change that in any immediate future.  Especially when you consider that the club did not even deem this investment to be worthy of any notable statement from their side.

As well as a huge summer ahead for the Swans on the pitch we should not just completely brush off investment like this in the same way that the losses were brushed off as just standard for a Championship side.  One of the things that the Swans were always recognised for in the years under which we were in the ascendency was the fact that everything appeared transparent and above board whilst I go back to 2001 and remember a comment when Tony Petty was here from Supporters Direct who commented that it was a rarity to find a club where promises were questioned and challenged rather than just accepted.   Have we really slipped far enough to just allow these things to happen.

The club need to find a way to stop these losses needing propping up on a monthly basis which in itself is a massive challenge but one that should be challenged on a daily basis by fans and the Trust alike and should not be clouded under the blanked of confidentiality which is so often claimed.

Swansea City remains our football club and not the plaything of those whose affiliation with the club will only ever be short term.  And nothing should ever be seen as “just the way it is”

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

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Smurph

Alan Waddle

677 messages 244 likes

Does anyone know watch the revenue on a match day is for food and drink at the stadium?

I can't imagine we make that much when you consider the quality, service and the fact a fraction of the fanbase are ostracised due to it being cashless.

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Phil Sumbler

Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood JackArmy.net was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.

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