Swansea show just how to profit in Premier League

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The Independent Online

If there was a league table for financial success then Swansea City would be challenging for Manchester City's Premier League title. The Welsh club confirmed yesterday a profit of £14.6m following their successful debut campaign in the top flight when they finished 11th under their then manager, Brendan Rodgers. That sum was boosted largely by the £5m received from Liverpool for the loss of Rodgers to Anfield in the summer.

While the Manchester clubs and Liverpool use the foreign owner approach, debt-free Swansea have a unique style. The Swansea City Supporters Trust has a significant 19.9 per cent share of the club, and chairman Huw Jenkins is convinced their home-grown structure and supporter-owned model, which was the first seen in the top flight, is a blueprint for even those competing for Champions League places.

Jenkins said: "I'd imagine that the majority of football clubs and supporters in the Premier League would love to have a set-up like ours. Clubs like Manchester United have a supporters body trying to find ways of changing how the club is run and how they can invest in the club to be part-owners.

"I think we are a blueprint. When other clubs see how we are run then we gain quite a lot because secretly they would like us to do very well. If we can work our way to the top of the British game this way it will give everyone else connected with football a genuine lift. It will show the other clubs they can work with this model and that you don't need a billionaire owner chucking money around and distorting the fairness that should exist within the game."

Swansea almost went bust in 2002 before a group of local businessmen bought the club for £1. Jenkins said: "The club had lacked investment, motivation and guidance. It has been a dramatic transformation." Now Swansea are in a position to fund future growth and, after two season-ticket sell-outs, there are also ambitious plans in place to expand the Liberty Stadium from 20,500 to 32,000 spectators.