The following announcement was emailed to Swans Trust members earlier this evening:
It is with great sadness that the Supporters’ Trust has to announce the resignation of our Chairman, Mr Phil Sumbler. Phil has been on the Trust board for over twelve years, eleven of those as Chairman. He has been a tremendous driving force and leader of the Trust for that period, a man who will be known to many of you as working tirelessly in the best interests of the fans during a period which has seen huge progression of our Football Club, with the Swans Trust as an intrinsic part of that development.
Despite a busy work schedule which has often seen him working away from home, he has always maintained a focus on the Trust and his role as Chairman. At times, particularly in more recent years, that role has provided many challenges. He has always been prepared to meet them head on and for that we will always be grateful to him.
Whilst we are disappointed that Phil feels unable to continue as a Board Member we are pleased that in his statement to the Trust Board he has highlighted the excellent work that is being done in building relationships between the Trust and Club at local level. Phil has also committed to remaining a Trust member and we hope that with the passage of time he will again feel able to take up an active role in an organisation to which he has made such an immense contribution.
At this same time Matt Griffiths has also resigned from the Trust Board. Matt has been a coopted member since August 2016 and has always played an active part in Supporters Trust activities, meeting with fans and ensuring the interests of the fans have been looked after.
As you know, the Trust is currently in discussions with the majority owners regarding a part sale of the Trust shares. Phil, more than anyone, has played a lead role in negotiating with the majority shareholders since taking control of our Club. Issues arising during these discussions were highlighted as a key factor in both Phil and Matt’s resignation statements.
Discussions are continuing on the detailed aspects of the deal and whilst these have highlighted some areas of concern, the majority view of your Trust Board is that we should continue these discussions with a view to finalising the detail as soon as possible. As discussions are ongoing between our respective legal teams it is not possible to give more detail at this point. However we do feel there remains scope to agree a way forward and believe that matters will be progressed quickly, but if any of the terms of the final offer differ from the detail as previously provided for the members consultation, then we will conduct a further consultation with you, our members.
In recent weeks there have been two further resignations from the Supporters’ Trust Board which you need to be aware of. Elected member Duncan Thomas and Co-opted member Ian James both resigned highlighting difficulties in giving their Trust position the time it merited. Both Duncan and Ian run their own businesses and in recent months have found the demands of that and other responsibilities conflicting with the time required to undertake their voluntary Trust roles. Ian has also resigned his position as Chair of the Disabled Supporters Association (DSA) for the same reason.
The Swansea City Supporters Trust wish to record its appreciation of the work undertaken by both Duncan and Ian during their time as Trust Board members. Ian did sterling work on behalf of the disabled supporters of Swansea City including the setting up of the DSA whilst Duncan’s IT expertise has been of significant benefit to the Trust. His business will continue to host the Swans Trust website and for that we are most grateful.
The Supporters Trust thanks our former board members for all their efforts, and will be advertising for applications for the vacant positions on the Supporters Trust board in the coming days. We urge any Trust member who feels they can make a positive contribution and has a desire to protect the interests of the Club and the Fans, particularly if they feel they can provide a different and unique insight, to apply.