April 5 – American owners of Premier League clubs don’t always have a happy time and are often conspicuous by their absence, especially when the going gets tough. But Swansea City’s majority owners Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien fronted up to a supporters forum yesterday taking their share of the blame and a heap of criticism.
Swansea are one position and one point outside the relegation zone ahead of tonight’s home fixture against second-placed Spurs. The experiment – though the owners probably didn’t view it like that at the time – with former US national team coach Bob Bradley, was a failure and the club has made a succession of high priced player acquisitions that now look over priced.
Kaplan and Levein acknowledged the mistake but at the same time backed chairman Huw Jenkins who fans have been demanding should resign.
Jenkins sold his shares in the club, along with a number of others, to Kaplan and Levien, giving them a 65% controlling majority last July. Jenkins stayed on as chair. The Swansea Supporters’ Trust owns 21% of the club.
Kaplan added: “Not all his decisions are right, not all my decisions are right decisions, not all Jason’s are either.
“But he cares deeply about the club. He was instrumental in getting the club to where it is.
“We have all made mistakes along the way, but Huw is our long-term partner. He’s been very open to new ideas and he has been great to work with.”
Reacting to criticism from the Supporters’ Trust that they had not been consulted in the takeover, Levein said: “I think mistakes were made in the acquisition process. Looking back now, I would have liked to engage earlier with the Trust,” said Levien.
“I cannot speak for the shareholders, but I know for more than a decade they led the club to great success. I think the board who were here during that period deserve respect.”
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org