There is a big difference between the situations of the two clubs who will meet in the FA Cup at St Andrew’s on Saturday. Birmingham City is in the Championship, has severe financial problems and faces an uncertain future. Swansea City is in the Premier League and announced a profit of £15.3m in their latest published accounts.
Although Swansea City is experiencing stability now, it has experienced turmoil in recent years. The history page on the club website gives a brief summary of the ups and downs. During the 2001/02 season the club had three changes in ownership and the following season it was in last place of the Football League at one point.
Since that low point, Swansea has gone up, with promotion to League One in 2005, to the Championship in 2008, and to the Premier League in 2011. This progress was due to owners who brought stability to the club and managers who brought success on the pitch. Swansea’s owners are a consortium of individuals and Swansea City supporters trust; all are local people or have some connection with Swansea. Swans Trust played an important role in bringing this consortium together and an account of how they did this can be found on the trust website. Swans Trust now owns 21% of the shares in the club.
The case for encouraging greater levels of collective supporter share ownership, primarily via the supporters trust model in football, has been strengthened still further in recent years. There are an increasing number of good examples of supporter ownership, both in England and throughout Europe. Blues Trust is investigating the possibilities of following a similar route forward.
Whatever the result of the game with Swansea, it should provide a gleam of light in the gloom surrounding our club; Swansea City AFC is a reminder that what goes down can come back up.
Good profit at Swansea http://www.footballeconomy.com/content/good-profit-swansea
Swansea City AFC History http://www.swanseacity.net/club/history.aspx
Early days – the supporters trust involvement in bringing the consortium together http://www.swanstrust.co.uk/History.aspx