Leon Britton: Club legend leaves Swansea City sporting director role

Leon Britton: Steve Cooper 'forever grateful' to Swansea City legend

Club legend Leon Britton has left Swansea City after stepping down from his sporting director role.

Britton, 37, says he wants a break from football - but hopes to return to Swansea in the future.

The former Swans captain was named sporting director in September 2019.

"The job is 24-7, all-consuming, and now is the time I have to keep the promise to myself and my family to take a break from the game after nearly 30 years," Britton said.

"I will keep in touch with the club and help wherever I can because the Swans and the fans mean everything to me.

"I really hope it's not the end of my close relationship with the club and I can come back in some capacity sometime in the future.''

Britton made more than 500 appearances for Swansea during 16 years as a player, representing the club in all four divisions.

After retiring in 2018, he spent a season as a club ambassador before being named adviser to the club's board by chairman Trevor Birch in May 2019 and then stepping up to become Swansea's first sporting director.

Leon Britton played his last game for Swansea in May 2018
Leon Britton played his last game for Swansea in May 2018

"I was always going to take some time out when I finished playing, but Trevor asked me to help him in his restructure of the football side of the club when he arrived, a task that escalated following the departure of Graham Potter to Brighton," Britton told the Swansea website.

"I said I would help because I love the club, always will, but it was always my intention to step back once things had settled down, which it has following the arrival of (head coach) Steve (Cooper) and (head of recruitment) Andy (Scott)."

Regarded as one of Swansea's greatest players, ex-midfielder Britton is a huge favourite among fans.

He helped the club to three promotions and the 2012-13 Capital One Cup - Swansea's only major trophy - and had a stint as player-coach under Paul Clement at the back-end of his career.

He also served briefly as caretaker manager, and had a hand in the appointment of current boss Cooper during his stint working with Birch.

"We are all sorry to see Leon relinquish his role,'' Birch said.

"I was hoping he may have changed his mind over the lockdown period, but he is focused on taking a break from the game and we must respect that.

"He is an icon of the club who typifies what Swansea City is all about and I'm sure his relationship with the club is not over. The door will always be open for him.''

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