How good does it feel to once again being a forward thinking club who are leading the way in their initiatives and being recognised as a club that is once again doing things differently.
Some years ago we adopted a mantra of being not just another football club but in the last few years in the Premier League – as the money really took hold – we became the very opposite in so much as we were just another football club. And for a period of time not a very good one as well.
But yesterday’s announcement that tickets for the play off semi final would be free of charge to the 3000 supporters who would attend is just the latest move that has to be applauded.
It follows on from us leading the way with social media boycotts as a result of the hatred messages posted against some of our players and also the value of next season’s season tickets for existing season ticket holders.
And now, at a time when Barnsley were charging their fans up to £25 for a ticket, the Swans have jumped in with free tickets for the semi final as we prepare to welcome crowds back to the Liberty for the first time in over 15 months. A fantastic gesture particularly at a time when our income has been so heavily impacted over those 15 months due to no crowds being in the Liberty for games.
It would have been so easy to look to make money from the fans return but this is Swansea City 2021 version and Julian Winter and his team should be commended for coming up with this initiative and yet again leading the way in terms of recognising that without fans football is nothing (A statement that we have heard many times recently but the Swans really do live and breathe that viewpoint at the moment.
And Steve Cooper says that he cannot wait to welcome those fans back into the ground but recognises as well that we will have many more not able to make it due to the restricted crowd who will return in just over a weeks time.
“It’s the play-offs, if the supporters can give us the edge then we have to maximise that,” Cooper said.
“We welcome it… because it has been not as good without them.
“When we get people back in where I am sat now it will be a special moment and I am sure for the people who are lucky enough to come.
“And by the way we will be thinking about the ones who cannot come as well, because it’s going to be a free-for-all in who is lucky enough to be here.
“It will be a special moment and we will be doing our very best to give them something to sing for, something to support, something to cheer on. But we are going to face that at Barnsley as well – their fans will be thinking exactly the same.
“It will be brilliant to see people back in stadiums, no more than here with our own people in our home. But what we have to do as a football team is make sure we use it to our advantage here and it does not affect us in a negative way at Barnsley.”