I was about to settle down for an evening meal in Bristol with some friends when I heard the news that Huw Jenkins had resigned as chairman of Swansea City.
The timing surprised me to say the least but this had to happen.
I’ve been a vocal critic of his over the last three years but before I go into that I have to pay tribute to the job he did in his first fourteen years at the club.
To take us from our knees in what is now League 2 to seven seasons in the Premier League and a first ever major trophy was a truly staggering achievement.
He was the master of picking managers and once Roberto Martinez departed in 2009, decided to stick with the same philosophy and chose men in the dugout who had the same beliefs on how the game should be played.
He was ahead of the game in that respect, how many clubs do you now hear that want to implement a philosophy? Quite a few and we were doing that long before it became fashionable.
Unfortunately though he lost his way. I believe that once the priority changed from what was best for the club to being able to sell the club to make millions it was never the same.
When we struggled during the 2015/16 season before eventually surviving comfortably I think the board were terrified we were going to go down, as they were not going to get the same value for their shares if that happened. Therefore they sold to the first serious bidder rather than waiting for the right person or consortium to make an offer.
Jenkins himself banked in the region of £8 million for his shares and continued as chairman on a six-figure salary.
I didn’t begrudge him his money; he’d achieved so much with the club that he earned it. It was how he got it that was unacceptable, the way the Supporters Trust were left out of the negotiations was appalling and the ousting of two long term directors in a board meeting that allegedly never took place reflected terribly on the club.
Even though he remained as chairman, his job was more that of a director of football, responsible for recruitment and I’m sure you’ll all agree that it has been shambolic for the last handful of years.
Players who we’d previously sold were brought back having done little elsewhere on big contracts and they did not provide value for money at all.
We ignored various areas of the squad (number ten being an example after Gylfi Sigurdsson left) and signed versatile players like Sam Clucas to try and plug holes in the squad.
Players who flopped we’d see loaned out rather than sold meaning you get very little income back and players who should have been moved on were offered new contracts, when often they couldn’t get near the starting eleven.
There has been a catalogue of errors and he is responsible for many of them.
He has hardly done any interviews in the last two and a half years and tended to try and use his programme notes as his only way of communication, allowing him to set the agenda rather than face the type of questions that we needed answers to.
And in those notes he hasn’t half talked some crap, the Wigan home game a few weeks ago stands out in particular. “There was a big turnaround in the summer as major changes were the priority in terms of the staff and squad.” Huw wrote.
“Those changes were made in order to provide us with a chance to quickly turn our fortunes around and mount a challenge for a promotion push to get back to the Premier League at our first attempt.”
A staggering thing to say when sixteen players had left over the summer, only five have come in and we had a net profit in the region of £40million in terms of transfers. He was talking to us like we’re idiots, how dare he make such outlandish claims.
You can say he went out on a high by allegedly blocking the Dan James transfer but after what he’s done in recent seasons that barely scratches the surface.
Parts of his resignation statement were also ludicrous. He said: “I find it very difficult to fight on in a football club I love but can no longer control.” There’s a reason you can’t control it anymore Huw, and that’s because you and your fellow directors sold your shares. If you hadn’t then we wouldn’t be in this mess and you’d still have control.
As it is we’re now left with the Americans. They carried on their theme of being completely classless by not even publishing Huw’s resignation on the club website and in their own statement hung him out to dry for poor transfer dealings.
I would accept their words but they’ve defended him to the hilt until now and then as soon as he walked decided to pin this on him and claim they’ll work with the trust to find his replacement. This is probably complete nonsense because they’ve treated that organisation with contempt from day one.
There’s a big degree of uncertainty now that Jenkins has gone but there was no way this club could heal completely with him still at the helm.
Things might get worse before they get better, but this news has meant that the media are paying far more attention to what is going on at our football club which is something we really need.
The owners are getting off Scott free and this can’t continue and they can no longer hide behind Jenkins so we really need to turn up the heat on them and we need the press, who have been too quiet on the whole really need to do the same.
As I said in my blog on Friday, we really need the Supporters Trust to implement legal action against the owners when the vote comes around next month so please join and vote to ensure that this happens.
I’ll save the last word for Jenkins. About five years ago I thought it wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility that we’d eventually see a statue of him at the Liberty as a reminder of an incredible period in the history of Swansea City.
No chance of that now, he’s tarnished his legacy for sure and it may end up being destroyed if things carry on as they are.
As the saying goes from The Dark Knight: “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Unfortunately that happened to Huw Jenkins and in the end, he had to go.