Swansea face 'hardest' Premier League test - Huw Jenkins

By Rob PhillipsBBC Wales football correspondent
Huw Jenkins
Huw Jenkins has been Swansea City chairman since 2002

Premier League survival next season will be the Swansea City's biggest challenge yet because of new financial rewards, says chairman Huw Jenkins.

Top-flight clubs will share more than £5bn when a lucrative television deal begins in time for the 2016-17 season.

Jenkins says the money would help the club purchase and develop the Liberty Stadium and with international growth.

"It could help us get to a different level that we have never seen before," he said.

The Swans have sealed their highest Premier League finish of eighth place with a record points total in manager Garry Monk's first full season in charge.

But Jenkins knows staying in the top flight next season will be pivotal with Sky and BT Sport's new television deal, which runs for three seasons from 2016-17, representing a 70% increase on their current £3bn contract.

Liberty Stadium
The Liberty Stadium is owned by Swansea City council, with the Swans and Ospreys rugby team sharing the facility through a 50-year lease.

Swansea complete their league campaign at Crystal Palace on Sunday, having already claimed 56 points, nine more than their previous best, but Jenkins says there is still work to be done.

"This challenge is the hardest of all, to actually stabilise the club and try and be part of that over the next few years with the new television deal," he said.

"Everybody has to be aware this will be the biggest challenge we have collectively ever faced - Garry, staff, the players and the club in general - to make sure we get past the first objective and make sure we get enough points to stay in the Premier League.

"When you are looking at possible stadium purchase, stadium expansion, making sure the club continues to grow around the world and the city of Swansea gets projected around the world with the Premier League coverage - there is certainly more pressure to do this now than ever."