Friday 28 October 2016

Swansea Supporters Trust wants quick conclusion to takeover talks

Published 22/04/2016 | 14:11

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins is expected to remain in a management role under new American ownership at the Liberty Stadium
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins is expected to remain in a management role under new American ownership at the Liberty Stadium

Swansea's Supporters' Trust wants any change of ownership at the club to be completed quickly.

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An American consortium, headed by sports executives Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan, is in talks to take a majority shareholding of around 60 per cent in the Barclays Premier League club.

Under the terms of the deal, it is expected that chairman Huw Jenkins and vice-chairman Leigh Dineen will hold management roles at the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea expect the deal to be ratified before the end of the season and the Trust - which will retain its 21 per cent shareholding in the proposed buy-out - hopes that is the case to allow the club to compete in the summer transfer market.

"Club leadership must be united and the future ownership structure of the club determined before the end of the season to enable the club to be as effective as possible in the transfer market over the summer," read a statement on the Trust website.

"We talked last week of our disappointment as an organisation at the situation that had arisen. But now it is time to move on.

"The Trust is looking to work constructively with all the various parties in order to achieve a solution that is best for the football club.

"At the fans' forum last Thursday night, we talked about how a protracted period of uncertainty in the boardroom is not in the best interests of the club."

The Trust expressed disappointment that they had been "kept at arm's length from negotiations" after some of its members met Levien, who is managing general partner at Major League Soccer outfit DC United, on April 9 as news emerged of the secret takeover talks.

But the Trust, which has a representative on the Swansea board, has since studied the takeover proposals.

Its latest statement added: "We have to work with the other shareholders, and the other shareholders have to work with us, to reach an agreement that works for all parties and, most importantly, the football club.

"It is our job, as custodians of a significant stake in the club, to ensure we protect the interests of our members whilst moving discussions towards a conclusion.

"Our football club, uniquely in the Premier League, provides a strong 'voice in the boardroom' on behalf of all supporters, and we should not give it up lightly.

"As the second largest shareholder, our views should not be ignored.

"Our stake provides us with an opportunity to provide fan input into how the deal will be structured, with our primary focus being that whatever happens is in the best interests of our football club."

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