Swansea City: Supporters welcome deal 'unlikely' to go ahead

Liberty Stadium in Swansea
Swansea City were playing in the bottom tier of the Football League when the current directors bought the club for £1

Swansea City supporters trust have welcomed the club's claim that a proposed £30m deal with US billionaire John Moores to buy a 30% stake in the club is not expected to go ahead.

But trust chairman Phil Sumbler expects further investment talks.

He also claims that a deal with Moores could have led to the US investors owning more than 60% of the shares.

"If the deal is dead then clearly it was never meant to be, so that's clearly good news to us," he said.

"But now that the club has shown that it is open to potential new purchasers coming in, I don't believe these will be the last people to show an interest."

The club had been in talks since the autumn with the former owner of the San Diego baseball franchise to invest in the club.

But on Friday evening a club spokesman said a deal was "extremely unlikely".

"Both parties felt that the time was not right to pursue any proposals," he said.

The supporters' trust - who own 21% of the club - has in the past voiced its concerns about foreign ownership and club chairman Huw Jenkins said in November that any investment would need the approval of supporters.

In his programme notes ahead of Swansea's Premier League game against Manchester United, Jenkins said once again any investment would need the fans approval.

"I'm positive that any movement away from the current set-up will only be put in place if everyone connected to our club is convinced it's a good thing for the football club first and foremost," he wrote.

"If not, and this is my opinion, I can see the status quo continuing for some years to come."

But following a meeting of the trust on Friday evening, Sumbler confirmed the supporters were attempting to ensure that any purchase of shares by investors would not dilute the fans' voice.

"There were three key things to us," he said.

"A non-dilution of our 21% shareholding; a supporter representative on the board of directors and a right to veto on certain decisions that we don't believe are right for the football club."

Sumbler confirmed that the trust had tried to increase it's shareholding to 25% - a figure that would give them greater power - but had twice had bids to buy more shares turned down.

He said that the fans would not begrudge the directors making a profit on the investment they made in 2002 when Swansea City was close to going out of business.

"No one can deny the current directors have done a phenomenal job," he said.

"But what a wonderful legacy for them to sign out by saying we bought a football club, and we've left it with a lot of protection for the supporters.

"We don't begrudge them cashing in - but leave a legacy."

BBC Wales has asked Swansea City for a response.

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