It was not what you expected to read on a Friday morning but it seems that several publications have gone with a story appearing in the Brazilian press that entrepreneur Leandro Rodrigues is closing in on a takeover of Swansea City.
The stories appear to come from a video from Globo Esporte in Portugese and is backed up by a further article that quotes Rodrigues as saying “In the next two weeks we will be able to put to the entire Brazilian press the information of the acquisition of Swansea, an issue that will make many people change their minds. What we can say is that we are available to start the rite in a professional, transparent and ethical way with the Rowing Club. It just has to be favorable.”
This is traditionally the season of transfer rumours and wild links but as far as rumours and links go I think we are probably on safe ground to say that this is up there with the wildest rumours that we have ever heard and is certainly one that will be filed in the “not happening” pile with reasonable confidence that there will be no egg on face in a month or twos time.
However, let’s put the Brazilian story to one side for a minute and consider the possibility of a sale. Much water has passed under the bridge since the 2016 sale and this isn’t the time to go back over all of that but there are a few relevant incidents since. The relegation from the Premier League was a massive financial impact on the club in 2018 and our inability to return within the parachute payment period has meant that the club has to be supported by loan notes that total £13m with Julian Winter already talking that there will be a need for more in the coming 12 months.
That is not something that the hedge fund bargained on when they purchased a club that seemed to be a steady Premier League team when they first entered the talks to purchase. A global pandemic admittedly hasn’t helped but it is widely speculated – and probably rightly so – that the Americans want to sell the club onwards and have been willing to listen to suitable offers for some time.
That, I suspect, is where the Brazilian rumours have eminated from. If the group do want to sell them conversations will be happening to try and drum up interest and whilst I have no desire to dig into the name of
this could be one of a few names that appear in the next few weeks and months depending on the seriousness of our owners to sell.
We know there have been multiple rumours that at least one former shareholder maybe persuaded to get back involved and it has been suggested that the sale of the club could be more imminent than we imagined. The Trust dispute over the sale in 2016 is now closed (rightly or wrongly) and that opens the door to a sale being able to be concluded if the right deal was made.
It is unlikely that the Americans it would seem could recoup their initial investment but given the wide ranging number of investors that is a gamble that they would have calculated on day 1. Their ideal would have been a return to the Premier League within a couple of years of relegation but that didn’t happen and the rumours do suggest that they are prepared now to cut any losses and move away from Swansea.
The challenge of course that they face is to find the owner who will meet their asking price for what – on the face of it from outside – is a Championship club who ended the season closer to League One than the Premier League.
As said you can file the Brazilian rumours well away in the never to happen category but don’t be surprised if its the first of many.