The Swans have confirmed that Chairman Trevor Birch has left the club with immediate effect to take up a role as director of football operations at Premier League Tottenham Hotspur.
Birch has moved on after less than 18 months in a role where he was appointed as successor to Huw Jenkins who left the club shortly after the closure of the January 2019 transfer window.
I am leaving Swansea with an extremely heavy heart,” Birch said.
I arrived at the club at a very difficult time, but I hope I have provided professionalism, stability and a solid foundation internally which will stand the club in good stead going forwards.
Steve Cooper, his staff and the players have given us all some great moments this season which will live long in the memory.
I also can’t thank the supporters enough for the kindness and support they have shown me over the last 17 months, and I wish the Jack Army and the club every success going forward. The supporters deserve it. – Trevor Birch
Birch arrived in Swansea with a clear mandate to steady the ship of a club that was reeling from some pretty poor transfer dealings in the recent past with an eye very much having been off the stability of the club to oversee a change in ownership back in 2016.
He managed to achieve that helped by two high profile departures last summer in Oli McBurnie and Dan James but he was criticised at the start of the pandemic of not taking a pay cut when a deferral was his first move in response to the shutdown of football at the start of March.
Speaking in response to the departure the ownership group spokesman said “We have enjoyed working with Trevor, and we understand during these unprecedented times the desire to be closer to home and family in London.
“Trevor will be missed, and we would like to thank him for his work on behalf of the club over the past 17 months.
“Moving forward, we have great confidence in our management team to continue the momentum we have built heading into the coming season as we work on a new management leadership structure.”
Birch himself has commented that he had very little dealings with the ownership group who had entrusted him to run the club with the mandate of saving money although there were strong suspicions that they wanted him to prepare the club for another sale with Keith Harris rumoured to have been approached to broker yet another change of ownership for the club.
Whatever the full reasons for this – whether it is more than just a chance of a decent job remains to be seen – the timing is not good for the Swans with just over a week until the start of a new season and also the transfer window still being open. Dealings in this window have been strong and it will be interesting to see how we react to any offers that come in for our players with our majority owners not having a strong track record of making good transfer deals in the past.
The Swans are also still facing a financial challenge due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and once again the timing of this departure is not helpful to that leaving the club requiring guidance at the top to ensure that happens.
In addition to that we have the strong rumours that the Category 1 status of the academy is about to be downgraded which again is now left in the hands of people who have shown little astute management for the club in their four years in control.