For the last time – Our owners are stupid. Very, very stupid.
It has been two years since we had a Jack Swan magazine out. So, it has been over two years since I’ve written about anything financial and our American owners; I’ve missed a good rant!
Yet nothing has changed. Some fans keep saying that the ‘Yanks are bleeding the club dry’, our club continues to lag behind and the Premier League years seem further and further away.
Let’s look at the owners
Kaplan and Levien were little rich kids
There is a trend with big American Businessmen thinking that they know shit and crucially that other people don’t. It is the arrogance and stupidity which only exists with those born as little spoilt rich kids. Both Levien and Kaplan were born into wealth none of us understand. Think Donald Trump.
The kind of wealth where you can fuck up and fuck up and fuck up again and it’s still OK because you get another chance. There is no ‘working your way up’. Not just that but you get to wear an expensive suit and always feel superior to everyone because they all play along. You are always the boss. People are always pandering to you.
Then imagine the Swans takeover. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when Huw Jenkins and co sold the club to them. They must have come over here, unimpressed with the suits, briefcases, cars, wives and everything else which our Swansea-made business men had.
Huw, Dinnen & Morgan laughed at them!
I reckon the conversation went somewhere along the lines of:-
(Stick a bolshy American voice on) “with respect Mr Jenkins, we think we can turn this club into a global brand known the world over.”
This, we know. This was their business plan. Essentially, they believed that they could run the commercial side of the club so much better than it was currently being ran that it was worth parting with £100 million to acquire.
I remember talking to Leigh Dineen, in the early days who knew that it was never going to happen. Anyone could see that it was never going to happen. The people who buy Swansea shirts are Swansea City fans. The only way to get anyone else to buy them is to buy Messi or Ronaldo or Mbappe and stick them in the shirt. Everyone, except for these arrogant assholes knew that.
Sell – Sell – Sell
As we know, neither Messi, Ronaldo nor Mbappe came. What happened was that Swansea became the biggest selling club in the Premier League.
Swansea’s £86 million profit in the transfer market since the American takeover is the most in the UK. These figures, according to the website Transfermarkt, show that the club have sold £217 million worth of assets since 2016 and reinvested just £131 million of that.
This is completely against the grain of pretty much all other clubs.
Whether they understood it or not, when they bought over 60% of a club priced at £186 million, they were buying an established Premier League team – one which finished 12th in the Premier League just a matter of weeks earlier. That was why it had its value. The club didn’t own its stadium and its fixed assets were a training ground and an academy – two things with little sell-on value.
According to Transfermarkt the club’s current players value a total of around £30 million. Levien and Kaplan inherited players valued at £128 million. We still don’t own the stadium and have acquired no other assets. The clubs value now is a fraction of what was bought.
Are Kaplan & Levien both an Evil Genius?
You can understand why thousands of fans believe that the owners have been lining their pockets. However, this is buying into their own belief, that they are somehow clever; but they aren’t.
It is not possible for the owners to be syphoning money out of the club. It is something we hear said often around the city, but it simply cannot be the case; not with the supporters trust owning their share and access to accounts.
There is a paradox which we all fall into. It is the same as the class system from years gone by and the African colonial powers. We tend to assume that those with money and therefore power are cleverer than us. People struggle to believe that the rich, powerful, American businessmen have come here and completely messed up. Instead, they believe that they have conned us in such a clever way that we are too stupid to understand.
The reality is that it was Huw Jenkins and co that smugly sat back, laughing to themselves, knowing full well that, although rich, these people are stupid. That they were never going to sell Swansea City shirts in Madrid airport or Pay Per View matches to New York City. It was always going to fail.
There is no evil plan for the owners, there is no way out, there is no direction. There is no understanding of what is needed to run a business or a football club. These people are stupid. They are stupid but with millions of pounds and fancy suits.
The way that they used the parachute payments summed up the complete stupidity of them. We would target promotion in year 4…. After the money had run out.
Fortunately, they don’t make too many decisions, kind of. It’s a bit like Boris Johnson and the country. Trevor Birch and now Julian Winter seem to be doing a good job of what they can. Managerial appointments have been good and there seems to be some sort of pre-thought logic within the transfer market.
I’m still hopeful that a part of their remit is to find another owner. Personally, (and I know others disagree) I would like to see us get our previous ones back. The ones who knew the club, knew our limitations and are probably the only ones locally with the capital to do it.