Several weeks ago I posted on this site about how we wanted certain questions answered by Steve Kaplan and Jason Levein in response to their takeover of Swansea City FC. Well finally we have been put out of our misery and now have at least some of if not all the answers so lets have a look at what we have learnt in the last 24 hours.
Why have you decided to purchase a controlling stake in Swansea City FC and what are your plans for the club?
There were no real surprises here with them outlining that the premier League is the best in the world in their opinion and they were attracted to the league first and foremost and then to Swansea because we’re isolated from many other clubs so are more likely to attract players as well as our style of play and the intensity of the relationship between fans and team (whatever that means)
What percentage of the club have you purchased, from who have you purchased shares and what are the current new percentages of shares held by each shareholder?
Well as revealed by Levein it’s 68% which means the trust still have 21% so 11% remains between existing shareholders of Huw Jenkins, Leigh Dineen and Martin Morgan as far as we know. This should be revealed shortly (or at least we hope it will be)
If you are representing a consortium of people can you reveal who they all are and how much money each investor has invested in the deal?
Not a lot new here, Landon Donovan is the only other person whose identity we are aware of other than the two gentlemen concerned. Although not named we did learn that most are from California. What we are now aware of though is that the other members don’t have a lot of say and that Jason and Steve will make the decisions.
Will there be any changes at boardroom level once this deal has been ratified?
This question remains unanswered.
Whose money has been used to purchase the shares?
As revealed to Chris Wathan at Wales Online, Steve is the biggest investor by a considerable margin and Jason has also put in what he describes as a considerable amount of money. What those sums are though have not been disclosed.
Was the money used to purchase the shares borrowed?
Steve described the deal as pure equity, there’s no debt and no debt will be passed onto the club.
A statement on the club website suggest Huw Jenkins will remain in an executive role at the club. If that means he’s no longer chairman who will be taking on that role?
Huw remains as chairman and was described as our biggest signing by Jason at the press conference earlier.
How do you view the Supporters Trust and will you give assurances including that no debt will be placed onto the club on the new shareholders agreement?
Jason views the Trust as a huge part of things going forward and states he has spoken to them in the last few weeks and is looking to continue that dialogue. They also spoke of the club wanting to be self-sustainable which can only be good thing
How much of a hands on role will you be taking in the club?
Huw Jenkins will continue to oversee the football side of things with Steve stating it’s important to rely on experts of which he is not on the football side of things. He also said “we think one of the things we can really bring to the table is to help the club in bringing in ancillary revenue, primarily sponsorships, and our goal from that is to have that in the kitty to invest in players.”
Along with the sale of shares have extra voting rights been passed over to yourselves? (Specifically do they have 75.1% of the voting rights?)
No firm answer in the press but I have been made aware that most of the voting rights (higher than 68%) have been passed over to Steve and Jason meaning they will have enough percentage of voting rights to not need the support of other shareholders
Are there any current plans to invest into the playing squad and to fund stadium expansion?
Playing squad yes with Jason saying “we want to make a splash (in the transfer market) but not at the expense of sustainability.”
Huw Jenkins answered the expansion one and stated that he hopes with Jason on board he hopes we can find a resolution with the council that suits everyone.
Will we be linking up with any American sides in football or other sports like DC United?
Jason answered this one earlier at the press conference saying I believe there will be opportunities.
“We had a nice little mixer with the clubs in America and hopefully there will be more opportunities to do that.”
So we now finally have some answers and whilst most of what was said was positive especially the bits about Huw Jenkins remaining in charge of the football side of the club and about us living within our means.
However talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words and time will tell if this is a good thing for our club. In the meantime get out there and buy Joe Allen before it’s too late!