Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins has revealed that he would be prepared to resign from his position, should the club continue in their current trajectory.
Jenkins gave a rare interview to several outlets including WalesOnline and BBC Sport Wales about his time at the club, recent criticism and the sale of the club.
The chairman has defended decisions that he and the club have made in recent years, but did admit that his position would be untenable if the club continues to produce poor results.
Would consider resigning
When asked if his position would be untenable if the current situation continues, Jenkins said: “I don’t disagree with that. If we continue on this path of hardly winning football games, yes, I have no doubt it is.”
He also revealed that if Swansea were to get relegated he “would certainly consider” resigning. He also added that “I am not that naive or arrogant or whatever the words are that I am not responsible.”
When asked how much responsibility he takes for the poor state of the club, Jenkins said: “Well I have to take responsibility. I cannot not take responsibility. I think there are reasons (for the situation) but I think probably a lot of people don’t want to listen to the reasons because they want to see action and they want to see the team doing well.
“So, yes, I take responsibility for it.” The 54-year-old said. “I don’t totally agree my position is how they say it. I think if we continue as we are, yes it will be.”
Not happy with the summer
Swansea sold two of their best performers last season in Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente. Many fans could accept the sales, as they have often seen their most influential players leave for bigger clubs but the problem was that replacements were not found.
Wilfried Bony returned to the club and Tammy Abraham joined on loan from Chelsea, a good return for Llorente but no player was signed to replace Sigurdsson and the club didn’t have a ready-made player to fill his shoes waiting in the wings.
When asked about the summer, Jenkins said: “I don’t think any of us were happy with it and how it panned out or the way it ended on deadline day.
“As I said, with more time probably we would have made different decisions.” The chairman of 15 years claimed. “But it remains to be seen what the effect has been on how we have been from the start of the season and how the squad has reacted.
“I don’t think we have seen the squad we have play to its full potential. It will be very interesting to see how Carlos handles the squad in a similar situation to last year with Paul, to see if he can get more out of them and then we can have a more balanced view of how our summer worked out.”
Carlos Carvalhal was appointed as the club’s new manager on Thursday, signing a contract until the end of the season with an option for an extension.
When asked if funds were available in the January transfer window, Jenkins said: “There is money available for January and it will be the money left over from the summer. That money has not gone anywhere.”
Swansea made a bigger profit than any other club in the Premier League over the summer, but Jenkins admitted that beyond the money brought in, any additional signings would have to be covered by outgoing players.
“If we wanted to go beyond that, it’s what we have always done and how we have always worked.
Swansea were bought by a consortium led by Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan in summer 2016. Since the takeover, there was talk of the deal allowing Swansea to go to the next level as a club but the team from SA1 has only regressed since the American owners took charge.
When asked how Swansea have fallen from grace so dramatically, Jenkins said: “It got to that stage because we were trying to compete in the Premier League. We can talk about – and I'm not going to name names – clubs we know well, and it's not easy. The first challenge when you get into the Premier League, you've have a two-or three-year cycle, and then if you want to retain your players you're upping their wages again.
"You've got a little period where you can be quite comfortable financially and then you've got a period where everything starts catching you up and you've got to start renewing every contract, and then that continues and continues.” Jenkins revealed in a unique interview as journalists have been trying to arrange a sit-down with the Swansea chief for months. “With the modern game every renewal is probably £1m a renewal, so your wage bill goes from here to there. It's not rocket science. That's the challenge everyone faces.”
It is difficult to see what influence the sale of the club has been from Jenkins’ answers, which was the question prompted to the chairman. He said: “They cover all of our financial guarantees to make sure we've got coverage, that's what they do and it takes that pressure off myself and one or two others that were working in the club at that time.”
Jenkins then revealed that there is no money being put in from the new owners in regards to incoming transfers, saying “No, there's no money put in at this time to do that. No. But you can't forget that the ongoing situation as well with the Trust and other shareholders, that even if they did put money in, there would be the argument about dilution of shares because that's the way that they can introduce capital.”