Wales

Swansea City's promotion will 'raise profile' of Wales

Players celebrate
Image caption Swansea's win was described as 'great news for Wales' by First Minister Carwyn Jones

Swansea City's promotion to the Premier League will play an important role in raising the profile of Swansea and Wales, said the first minister.

The Swans beat Reading 4-2 in the Championship play-off final in a thrilling match at Wembley.

Carwyn Jones congratulated them describing it as "great news that Wales will have a football team in the top flight for the first time in decades".

The Premier League is watched by a huge global television audience.

Mr Jones added: "This fantastic achievement will play an important role in further raising the profile of Swansea and Wales in the UK and further afield."

Swansea council said promotion would give "the entire city a massive lift" and put it on an international stage every week, attracting tens of thousands of new visitors to the city.

Swansea Lord Mayor Ioan Richard said: "The eyes of the sporting world were on Wembley on Monday and it's our local club which will be the toast of football today.

"I want to pay tribute to Brendan Rodgers, his playing staff and the backroom staff for this magnificent achievement.

"Credit must also go to Huw Jenkins and the Swans board for the way they have steered the club to British football's top table.

"This has been a true footballing fairy story. Just eight years ago Swansea was on the verge of dropping out of the Football League. But now this club has climbed the entire football league ladder to reach the very pinnacle of success."

Image caption Promotion to the Premier League has been described as a 'true footballing fairy story'

Chris Holley, leader of the council said, the Swans' success would be worth millions of pounds to the city in tourism and trade.

He said: "The Swans' success is the city's success as well. It will help create and protect jobs in the local economy, particularly in tourism.

"The Premier League attracts worldwide audiences which will help raise Swansea's profile on the international stage and attract interest from sports fans and potential visitors from all over the world.

"And it means every other week thousands of fans from places like Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and London will be visiting Swansea and spending their money in local restaurants, pubs and hotels.

"We're sure they'll like what they see and come back again with friends and family to enjoy the marvellous scenery and hospitality Swansea has to offer."

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said: "Congratulations to Swansea City on today's win and their first return to top flight football since 1983. I am delighted that a Welsh club will feature in the [Premier] League from next season.

"The Premier League is the biggest and best football league in the world and playing in the Premiership will bring many benefits not only to the club but also to Wales.

"Premier League football coming to the Liberty Stadium will be a huge boost to Swansea and its local economy with many local businesses set to benefit from the increased visitor numbers and trade coming to the city.

"Brendan Rodgers, the Swans players and everyone involved in the club have given us all a real cause to celebrate and they can be justifiable be very proud of this fantastic achievement."

Superb Swans

Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said: "Congratulations to Swansea on a sensational result. This is a great day for the city and a historic day for Wales.

"As a local MP, I've been fortunate to attend so many superb Swans performances over the last few years, and now I can't wait to be cheering them on in the Premiership.

"This a fantastic day for Welsh sport. The whole country will reap the benefit of top flight football coming to Wales."

Welsh sporting stars were quick to congratulate the Swans, including former Wales international Robbie Savage.

Within minutes of the final whistle, he wrote on Twitter: "What a game!! Both teams terrific!! Well done Swansea!"

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