My Letter to Swansea City Football Club Re Transfer Embargo
Self explanatory really. Case of a small team shooting themselves in the foot but holding players to ransom. I think we all know that generally this never ends well.
Swansea City Association Football Club Limited
22 June 2012
Dear Mr Jenkins,
Firstly I would like to congratulate the achievements of the team over the last few years. To avoid relegation is one thing, but to sit pretty mid table in your first season in the EPL is truly remarkable. I have noted recently that you have taken the decision to appoint Mr Michael Laudrup as your new Football Manager. This is a fine testament to how far the club has come in recent years. Whilst he has not set the world alight in his managerial career thus far he is a genuine name in modern world football and someone who achieved as a player. In my opinion it is fine appointment.
However, the reason for my letter is regarding something that was reported in the press following your former manager, namely Mr Brendan Rodgers, moving to Liverpool FC. It was reported that you agreed a clause in the deal taking the manager to Merseyside that would prevent Liverpool FC from making any attempt to sign Swansea City FC players for a period of 12 months. To be blunt I think you may have missed a trick here.
Whilst I fully appreciate that you would want to keep your most valuable assets at the club, it seems foolish to implement such a clause. The simple facts are that the club now has a number of players who over the last 24 months have doubled and trebled in value and I would be bold enough to say that some in the right market have seen their value increase ten fold. The point that may have been missed is that some of the players may have a relationship with the manager that is more than the club. We see it all the time. Certain players that seem to always come up with the goods for a certain manager. Some Swansea City FC players will be sitting at home as I write this and be particularly disappointed that Mr Rodger has departed, despite the arrival of Mr Laudrup. I would suggest that a number of players may have liked to follow the manager and he would have wanted to bring them along.
Now, the trick I think you have missed is that if we say hypothetically that player X had wanted to follow the manager you would have been in a very strong bargaining position. Player X already has an inflated value due to the heroics of last season, now you can demand even more. That is what I would describe as a win win situation for the club.
I appreciate the game changing money that has been brought into the club over the last 12 months due to EPL TV rights etc.. but selling players at over inflated prices surely should never been missed, especially from the smaller teams in the division (no disrespect intended). No doubt the new manager will have new ideas, even though I suggest you will want to retain the same philosophy, it is likely that some players will not adapt. You are in the difficult transitional period where you want to build on the fantastic work of last season, however the hammer blow of a managerial change is always difficult and being in the position whereby players who do not necessarily share the same outlook can be moved on surely can only be a good thing. You may be the position whereby you have players who tread water for 12 months and do not give it 100% due to the restrictions in place. This would be a disappointing outcome.
Despite of the contents of this letter I genuinely hope the above is not the case and the players are happy to continue to play for the club and Mr Laudrup is a success.