12 Years And We've Not Looked Back
Saturday, 20th Jun 2015 17:30 by Planet Swans (follow us on Twitter @swansnews)
On Friday 20th June 2003, the Swans made a decision that was to change the future of the club completely when they appointed Huw Jenkins as Chairman of the board.
Jenkins had been part of the consortium that seized control of the club in January 2002 from Tony Petty and up until that point the club had been operating as a consortium in charge but it was a change that was needed at the time with the club having just secured their football league place after a nail biting win over Hull at the Vetch Field.
Twelve years and three promotions later we are looking forward to a fifth season in the Premier League which in itself tells its own story and gives you a massive reason why the Chairman was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list last week.
Speaking on the day of his appointment, Jenkins said "We felt that now was the right time to appoint a chairman and vice-chairman because it will help the club move forward and grow.
"With the foundations now in place it will give the club the right image, plus the leadership to take us in the right direction, and I believe that in partnership with the Supporters Trust, we will go from strength to strength. Decisions have, and will be taken in the interests of the whole club, not just one or two, and we will not gamble on the future of the club we love for anything.
"When we took over, the Swans' were sinking, now with the club holding it's own, it is time to move forward and continue making progress."
They were words that for a club that had just survived a massive scare probably rang true but there would not have been a person reading those words at the time who could possibly have believed the journey that we were about to head on.
Not only have we secured those three promotions we now have an average crowd of over 20,000 (and would have more with a ground expansion) but have also won our first major trophy in the Capital One Cup as well as made a return to European Football.
We have paid out over £10m for a player, sold one for over £25m, have a staff of over 300 people and now have training facilities that are befitting of a Premier League club. On the day of appointment we probably had less than 10 staff beyond the players and coaches, £25m was a lifetime's turnover and training didn't even happen at the Glamorgan, we borrowed pitches that we could train on.
Very few people outside of Swansea had actually heard of Swansea City but we are now a 'worldwide brand' and have fans all over the world and are watched by millions every week.
A win at say Bristol Rovers was a good day out in 2003 but in the last four years we have won at Old Trafford (twice), The Emirates Stadium (twice), Old Trafford (twice) and Stamford Bridge. We have beaten Manchester City at home, won at the Mestalla and taken Napoli all the way over a two legged European tie. The world is a different place over the twelve years so much so that it is still hard to believe when you think back to this one thing.
Would things have been different had we not made that decision it is hard to say but there are very few people who have the level of passion for this football club than our Chairman. He has a clear vision for what he believes in and his words that we will do the right thing for Swansea City is the one philosophy that has rung true since the day he was appointed
He has shown time and time again he is not afraid to stand by his beliefs and that has been for the benefit of this club. He has taken on some of the big names in football and sold this club to people all over the world. Just look at the number of people who talk about his passion for the club and for the game as a whole and you realise that the decision taken back in 2003 was an inspired one.
It is still genuinely hard to believe that it is only twelve years ago such is the journey that we have taken and of course we shouldn't just thank the Chairman but the whole board of directors but the man at the top takes the flak when it goes wrong so the credit is there when it goes well.
And it is safe to say that not once have we looked back in those 12 years only at times like this when we reflect on just how well we have done.
Photo: Action Images
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