Swansea City boss Russell Martin has warned the club’s supporters that they will probably need to sell on one or two players every year in their quest to remain financially stable and become a successful side, speaking to Wales Online.
The Swans’ board have established a reputation of not being afraid to cash in on some of their prized assets in recent years, with previously key first-teamers Jamal Lowe and Connor Roberts both leaving the club on deadline day last summer.
Although Martin hinted that Lowe’s departure is because he didn’t fit in their system, the sale of Roberts was a particular blow for some considering he was also one of the first names on the teamsheet last term and probably would have made a real impression this season.
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This has been a theme of recent seasons though with moves away for the likes of Dan James, Oli McBurnie and Joe Rodon all being sanctioned in the last three years.
With this, it could be argued that previous manager Steve Cooper did well to guide the Swans to consecutive top-six finishes before his departure last July, with that revenue potentially allowing the second-tier side to afford to keep hold of some of their prized assets during the upcoming window.
However, Martin has admitted that more sales will be on the way for the foreseeable future with one or two more likely to come in the next few months as they prepare for the 2022/23 campaign.
He said to Wales Online: “Hopefully Flynn (Downes) is one who is with us for a long time.
“It gives us the best chance of getting into the league we want to be in eventually, keeping a group of players together for long enough to do it.
“But we know the financial situation, we probably have to sell one or two every year. But Flynn I really want to keep.
“If we can find a way around that we will.”
Other clubs have been successful with this model of selling players in the past and the Swans have been able to continue with this approach because some of their recruitment has been spot on, especially over the past 12 months.
Bringing in Joel Piroe for a £1m fee was a masterstroke and they will have the ability to sell him on for a lot more, potentially then enabling Swansea to spend a decent sum of money in return whilst abiding by the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules at the same time.
The importance of remaining within these rules cannot be understated because if they break them, they risk suffering a further points deduction and needing to follow a strict business plan, something that would stifle their progress.
However, you do feel they need to retain the vast majority of their important assets in the coming years to provide stability during this transition phase – because those players who have been at the club for a while will help new arrivals to settle in quickly.
If they have a higher player turnover though, they risk undoing all of this season’s hard work so the club’s board should be prepared to miss out financially if that means keeping hold of the likes of Piroe or Downes.
You could potentially argue that one being sold is acceptable – but certainly not both.