Swansea owners: ‘We’ve made mistakes. But it’s unfair to say we haven’t invested’

first_img Carlos Carvalhal talks to Renato Sanches. Photograph: Matt Bunn/BPI/REX/Shutterstock Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend Although Sam Clucas has started to flourish under Carvalhal, other summer signings have made little impact. Abraham’s goals against Notts County on Tuesday were an encouraging sign but Sanches has endured a tough time and Wilfried Bony, who always seemed like a gamble, is sidelined with a serious injury. Throw in the situation with Mesa and Borja, who arrived the previous year, and it feels as though Swansea need to shake up their approach to recruitment.“We’re evaluating how we improve our process and that may be bringing in additional people in roles that could help,” Levien says. “The key for us is how do we learn from the mistakes that we’ve made and get better. So adding additional resources to that is something we’re looking closely at.”Jenkins, who is heavily involved in transfers, has said he will consider his position at the end of the season. The chairman has come in for heavy criticism from a section of the supporters, yet Kaplan and Levien take an alternative view. “Huw works his tail off, he’s dedicated to the club, he’s loyal to everything going on in the organisation, so we want him with us,” adds Levien. “That being said, we want to continue to improve the [recruitment] process.”In all the doom and gloom, Carvalhal’s arrival has provided some light. Swansea go into Saturday’s home game against Burnley unbeaten in eight matches, out of the relegation zone and with a renewed sense of hope. “The thing that’s really come through to me since Carlos has been with us is that his passion for football surpasses virtually anyone I’ve been around,” Kaplan says. “He loves the game and that affects the entire club.” Swansea City Facebook Share on Messenger Reuse this content Swansea received only £35m for Gylfi Sigurdsson from Everton after paying Tottenham Hotspur a sell-on clause. Photograph: Nigel French/PA After going through some of the deals, it seems obvious that football in general – not just Swansea – would benefit from greater transparency on transfer fees. It turns out, for example, that Swansea received £35m for Gylfi Sigurdsson from Everton, after paying Tottenham Hotspur’s sell-on clause. Loans can also be misleading – Swansea were left with little change from £12m when it came to the cost (fees and wages) of borrowing Renato Sanches and Tammy Abraham.Although it is hard to argue with the balance sheet, there is no getting away from the fact that Swansea could have spent their money better. Too many transfers have not worked out, highlighted by Roque Mesa and Borja Baston, signed for a combined total of £27m, being loaned back to Spanish clubs after making 13 Premier League starts between them. Swansea cannot afford to get those transfers wrong.“We can’t just paper over mistakes with money, you’re right,” Kaplan says. “Roque has a lot of value in La Liga, he’s a proven player. He could play in the Premier League in the right system. But the way Carlos is lining us up, we need a level of athleticism in our midfield. Borja came in around the same date we came in – that obviously doesn’t look very good. Facebook Kaplan and Levien rarely give interviews and they are not stepping out of the shadows all of a sudden because Swansea are showing signs of life – this conversation was set up when the team were bottom of the table. One of their reasons for talking is a desire to clear up a few things in relation to finances, where Levien says that “the reality is far different to the perception” – with the perception being that the Americans have overseen a tidy profit on players.According to their figures, Swansea’s total expenditure on transfers (including loan and agent fees) since their takeover in the summer of 2016 is £114.3m. The income from player sales during that period, they say, stands at £89.9m. As for the wage bill, it has increased by £12.9m on player ins-and-outs alone. Kaplan and Levien go on to make the point that the club has been able to counterbalance part of that trading-deficit through increased commercial and Premier League revenue. Twitter Read more Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Topics Share on Facebook Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien are at the other end of a transatlantic line, extolling the impact of Carlos Carvalhal, acknowledging mistakes in the summer transfer window, dismissing concerns about asset-stripping, vowing to improve recruitment and singing the praises of Mike van der Hoorn, yet there is one point in particular that Swansea’s majority shareholders are keen to get across.“We can be criticised,” Kaplan says. “We’ve made some poor transfer decisions, no doubt. Nobody gets it right all the time. Our record has been mixed and this past summer wasn’t very good. That’s fair criticism. What’s unfair criticism is to say that we haven’t invested everything that the club has generated, and then some, to try to improve the team.” Twitter Pinterest interviews “On the other hand, to be fair to Huw [Jenkins, the chairman], he’s made some really good purchases. Alfie Mawson is a kid that our scouting group and Huw pounded the table on. We said: ‘We’re going to spend £5m on a player who’s played a total of four matches in the Championship?’ That seemed crazy. But there was a lot of conviction about Alfie and he’s worth a lot of money now.“And I want to be very clear, we have no intention of moving Alfie. This guy is a stalwart of our club. Mike van der Hoorn was also picked up for very little. He’s not fancy but that guy gets the job done and he’s not afraid to mix it up with anybody. We like that guy a lot. So you’ve got your positives and your negatives. That being said, it’s fair to say that the summer was very poor.”The Sigurdsson saga dominated that window, with Paul Clement, the manager at the time, critical of the time it took to agree a fee. Kaplan and Levien have no wish to get involved in a tit-for-tat with Clement, who was sacked in December, but they do cite mitigating circumstances when it comes to Sigurdsson, including Everton’s low initial offer and dealing with “multiple voices” at Goodison Park. As for the failure to sign a replacement, Kaplan and Levien say there were options but that Clement made it clear he wanted only Nacer Chadli. Swansea were not willing to meet West Brom’s £25m asking price for Chadli, and Kaplan and Levien maintain that was the right stance. Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn You’ve got your positives and your negatives. That being said, I think it’s fair to say that the summer was very poorSteve Kaplan Share via Emaillast_img

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