In a change from the usual Supporters’ Trust programme page format, today our new Trust Chair Andy Godden will write about the changes at the Trust and the Swans over the close season, along with our plans for the future.
As is often the case, the Swans have seen some significant changes in personnel over the shortened close season. Whilst we were sad to see the likes of Conor Gallagher and Rhian Brewster return to their parent clubs, we are delighted to see Marc Guehi and Freddie Woodman return for another season, along with Morgan Gibbs-White and Jamal Lowe move to SA1. If last week’s victory at Preston is a sign of things to come, there is every reason to be excited about our chances for this season as we aim to replicate or improve upon last season’s Top 6 finish.
Off the field, the Trust were disappointed to see Trevor Birch leave his role as club chairman. We had developed a much-improved working relationship since his appointment, so a change in leadership, particularly at this critical time, was not on our wish list. However, we are delighted to welcome Julian Winter to the role of Chief Executive. Julian comes to the club with a wealth of experience, particularly in community related areas, which is something we look forward to working with him to develop further.
From a Trust perspective, we have seen a significant change in personnel too, with Phil Sumbler standing down as Chair after a period spanning 15 years. I have served on the Trust Board with Phil for 6 years, and as his Vice Chair for the last two years, so I have seen first-hand the challenges the Trust has faced, particularly over the last four years. With regards to the direction of the Trust in meeting those challenges, that will continue as mandated by our members.
There are areas that I would like to see the Trust improve in the future, and engagement with our members is a key part of that. Currently we are limited to virtual communications, and I urge you to join or follow our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where we constantly engage with fans and our members on the issues of the day. Our swanstrust.co.uk website is also frequently updated with any Trust related news. We will also be arranging regular virtual Q&A forums with our members on our social media platforms. This is your Club, and your Supporters’ Trust, and it is important that we can engage as many people as possible, as often as possible.
To thank our long-standing members and to recognise the challenges many families will be facing at this time, we were delighted to announce that all 2019/20 Trust members have been automatically renewed for the 2020/21 season, while any new members can join at a 50% discount until the end of the year. For £5 (or less for seniors and juniors) you can help strengthen the Trust as we aim to represent the views of the fans within the club. The larger our membership, the stronger that voice can be, so please consider joining here!
I look forward to speaking more in the future, and hopefully that will take place in person at the Liberty Stadium soon. Being able to watch the games via SwansTV is great, but it doesn’t compare to being at the ground. In the meantime, we’re sure the Jack Army around the world will be cheering on the Swans as we aim for another three points!