Staff morale has not been affected at relegation-threatened Swansea City AFC following a reported loss of £14.6m for the past 14 month period.
Chairman Huw Jenkins moved to clarify the reasons behind this, stating that the sales of key players Ashley Williams and Andre Ayew to Everton and West Ham respectively were not included in this report.
The Swans are generally in a healthy financial position, but those connected to the club are wary of the affect relegation could have, with Premier League broadcasting deals a key source to many clubs and 81% of Swansea City’s income comes from television broadcasting.
Relegation could lead to structural changes at the club. Aston Villa were relegated last season and approximately 500 staff members were told they were going to be made redundant in the final third of the season. Sunderland AFC are likely to join them in the second tier of English football next season, which shall trigger redundancies staff members were warned of in February. The atmosphere has been described as “toxic” by staff since plans for redundancies up north were communicated.
Swansea staff members are not concerned over the financial or atmospheric effects of relegation. Michael, a hospitality and match day staff member at the Liberty Stadium, suggested in an interview that the mood was different but dismissed financial concerns.
“In terms of financial perspective, the staff still get paid the same amount and at the right time they get a pay rise, so the loss didn’t really affect us. But in terms of the tension because every time the club believes they should be doing better in the table means many fans don’t renew their season tickets. So I think it affects the fan’s perspectives, I think it affected them the most, but staff? No, it didn’t really affect us at all.”
Despite initially suggesting that on-pitch performances did not affect his working atmosphere as regardless of the result, “the fans still come to buy drinks,” Michael later claimed there was “friction” at the club which altered the atmosphere.
“There was a little bit of a difference, most fans didn’t come to expect a win, just to chill out with friends. They wanted to go and watch the game but the club wasn’t there anymore.”
“The club wasn’t there anymore.” For those associated with Swansea City AFC, they will be hoping this doesn’t apply to the Premier League next season.
An extended version of the interview is available to listen to above.