The Jack Army has approached deadline day with a certain amount of trepidation in recent years. August 2018 is etched long in the memory after we gave away Federico Fernandez, Jordi Amat, Sam Clucas and Jordan Ayew in the hours of the transfer window and only one new player arrived.
The following one would’ve also been awful if our useless owners had their way, it was only the intervention of Huw Jenkins that stopped us accepting an embarrassing loan to buy deal from Leeds for Dan James. Since then things have been better, under Trevor Birch our crown jewels like James and Oli McBurnie moved on for more realistic money, but Birch’s departure for Spurs left me worried that our reputation as a soft touch may return under Julian Winter.
To be fair to the Swans they have at least learnt some lessons from those episodes. We were short of numbers going into the final day of the transfer window and the arrivals of Kasey Palmer and Joel Labtibeaudiere have given us some of the extra depth we’ve badly needed. And we did at least pre-empt that Joe Rodon would go because we lined up Ryan Bennett and Ryan Manning (if it’s beaten the deadline) to come in using the money we would receive from that transfer to fund it.
Nothing wrong with that at all, it all makes sense. But what we clearly haven’t learnt is that on deadline day you do not cave into other clubs demands and accept a bad deal unless you’re absolutely desperate which as far as I’m concerned is not the case.
Yes Swansea City’s finances are not in the best of health, the reduction in parachute payments from approximately £35 million to £15 million plus the lack of gate receipts does mean cashing in on players to make up for it has a certain appeal. But when you’ve got an asset like Rodon who still had just under two years left on his contract there was no reason why we couldn’t have said no until January at least if the asking price wasn’t met. His value would not have diminished in that time and it would have shown that we are no longer a club who folds like a pack of cards in transfer dealings on deadline day.
In recent windows we’ve seen the likes of Ben Godfrey and Adam Webster move from the Championship to the Premier League for fees in excess of £20 million, so we should have been looking at a fee in that region with £15 million the absolute bear minimum. So to hear we’ve accepted £11 million is a scandal, our owners have absolutely no idea what represents value for money and were clearly desperate to get any sort of deal over the line rather than keep the player.
This deal does not reflect well on Julian Winter, this was one of his first major transactions since replacing Birch and he is either having his strings pulled from above him or seems to share their views, neither stance is inspiring and doesn’t bode well for the future. Other clubs will have noted easy it is to knock us down on deadline day and will bear it in mind for future deals.
I’ve seen some blaming Birch as he now works for Spurs and would have inside information on our finances and what we might accept. That might be true but he doesn’t work for us anymore and owes us nothing. The fact is he didn’t accept the bid so if you’re looking for someone to blame then focus on those no hopers Levien and Kaplan across the pond.
But I will end positively, the bigger picture is the squad is far stronger than it was 24 hours ago, there’s rumours of Fabio Borini arriving which could still happen as he’s a free agent which would mean we have cover in every position and we have ten points after four games so there’s no reason why we can’t have another positive season in spite of our owners.