Swansea City have confirmed reports from earlier in the day regarding head coach Steve Cooper’s future as the 41-year-old departs the Liberty Stadium immediately.
The Telegraph first reported this afternoon that Cooper and the Swans were set for a mutual parting of ways due to the direction that the club were set to go in – that was despite taking charge of their pre-season victory over Plymouth Argyle last night.
There seems to be various factors from both parties as to why Cooper is departing Swansea with a year remaining on his contract, with The Athletic stating that captain Matt Grimes is set to be sold this summer despite Cooper fighting hard to keep him at the club in two seasons in charge.
According to Graeme Bailey, the Swansea hierarchy have been left unimpressed by Cooper’s pursuit of a new job this summer, which apparently saw him apply for the vacant managerial roles at Crystal Palace, Fulham and West Brom – the first two who he had strong links to but ultimately he was not signed.
The time has come for Cooper to leave South Wales though and he’s issued some departing words for the Swansea fans and has explained his reasoning for leaving.
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“I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past two seasons, especially getting to the play-off final, but it feels like a good time for all parties to make a change,” Cooper said, per Swansea’s official website.
“It is a fantastic club, with incredible supporters and I am very grateful to them, to the players and all the staff for making me so welcome here. I wish the team every success for the future.”
After much speculation surrounding his future all summer, Swansea will in a way be happy that this has been sorted out before the start of the Championship season – even if it does leave them without a head coach for a period of time.
They will have a plan in place though to hopefully appoint a new figure in the dugout swiftly, and they’ll have big shoes to step into following Cooper’s exploits in his first two years of senior coaching.
Back-t0-back play-off finishes for a team that rarely spent much in the transfer market was some going and the fact that he got so close to the Premier League this season must be lingering on Cooper’s mind as he came to this decision.
It would be no surprise to see Cooper’s next job be in the top flight but Swansea must now move on and find his successor.