Saturday 21 July 2018

Swansea takeover would not change position on Francesco Guidolin - Huw Jenkins

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins, pictured, says a possible takeover at the Liberty Stadium will not alter their managerial plans this summer
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins, pictured, says a possible takeover at the Liberty Stadium will not alter their managerial plans this summer

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins says the possible takeover at the Liberty Stadium would not change the club's managerial plans.

Francesco Guidolin has guided Swansea to Barclays Premier League safety since being appointed head coach in January, Saturday's 1-0 victory over Chelsea their fourth in six games and t aking them to the 40-point mark.

Swansea have said Guidolin's position would be reviewed at the end of the season, and the veteran Italian has made it clear that he would like to extend his short-term deal.

But Swansea might be about to move in a different direction, with businessmen Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien heading up an American consortium which could acquire a controlling interest in the club before the end of the season.

"Over the next couple of weeks we are going to sit down and discuss Francesco's thoughts," Jenkins told the South Wales Evening Post.

"We will discuss his views on the team and the club and on the situation going forward.

"All the options are there - that has not changed from day one. The possibilities are all there."

Asked if the potential change of ownership would change the position regarding Guidolin, Jenkins - who will stay on at Swansea in an executive capacity if the American buy-out does goes through - added: "I don't think so.

"Results have improved from December onwards, and we can't say anything other than we are all delighted with how things have worked out."

Former Swansea assistant manager Colin Pascoe feels flirting with relegation "frightened" the club's hierarchy into seeking new investment.

"It would have been a massive decision for Huw Jenkins to sell because he and the board have achieved so much," Pascoe told BBC Radio Wales.

"They've been involved since 2002 and to take Swansea to where they are now is an unbelievable achievement.

"But to compete in the Premier League, and hopefully Europe, you need the money.

"I know the amount of money clubs are going to get next season (due to the new television deal) is going to be tremendous, but everything is inflated in the Premier League."

Pascoe was Brendan Rodgers' assistant when Swansea were promoted to the Premier League in 2011.

The former Swansea and Wales midfielder joined Rodgers at Liverpool in 2012 and he worked under the club's American owners Fenway Sports Group before leaving Anfield last summer.

"This year may have frightened Swansea, Huw Jenkins and the board," Pascoe said.

"Maybe they feel they don't want to be in this position again, so they need investment. Perhaps they're thinking ahead and saying 'we need more investment for this not to happen again'.

"My experience with FSG at Liverpool was brilliant. They supported the manager with the funds that he wanted, but people who invest in clubs want results at the end of the day."

Levien met members of the Swansea City Supporters' Trust - who own 21 per cent of the club and have a representative on the board - on Saturday in what the Trust described as "very much a preliminary meeting".

The Trust reported that the consortium were keen to engage and work with them "to progress the football club", but expressed disappointment that they had been "kept at arm's length from negotiations" and not provided with more time to consider the deal before it became public knowledge.

However, the Trust disclosed on Monday night that it is now studying the takeover proposals and could soon hold a consultation meeting with members.

"As we made clear in our statement on Saturday 9 April, the Trust has not had much opportunity to consider the opportunity and the merits of this potential transaction," the Trust said.

"Unlike some other shareholders, we were not aware of the interests of this consortium until two weeks ago.

"As you would expect, the Trust board and its professional advisers are doing that now.

"We understand that our members and supporters may be anxious during this period of uncertainty and we will endeavour to communicate with members and supporters as much as possible."

Press Association

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