Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins has admitted the Welsh club were on the brink of disaster last season after failing to deal with a number of long term issues that began with Garry Monk’s sacking.
Paul Clement’s sde eventually snatched 13 points from the last five games to avoid relegation, but the Premier League status looked in real doubt for a while, report Wales Online.
It came on the back of a relegation battle the season before, where Monk, Alan Curtis and Francesco Guidolin all had spells at the helm.
The managerial turnover continued to be high in 2016-17 as Guidolin, Bob Bradley and Clement all had turns in the Liberty hotseat.
It was far from ideal and came on the back of a summer where American businessmen Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien had completed their takeover of the club.
And chairman Jenkins, who came in for considerable criticism over the manner of the sale to the Americans and for the club’s on-field struggles once the season got under way, has said not enough changes were made in the summer of 2016 when more of an overhaul was required.
Jenkins had previously used his match day programme notes to say there were events he would handle differently if he had another opportunity, and he has revealed the manner in which last summer was handled is chief among them.
“The main thing we would do differently, without going in to too much detail, is last summer,” he said.
“We allowed the one season to carry over into the next. Perhaps the need for change there was greater than we maybe realised.
“We should have changed things around a little bit more then, and refocused then rather than trying to do it in January as we ended up doing.
“We had to learn pretty quickly. I don’t think we really recovered from the year before when Garry Monk finished.
“We had a good end to the season but we did not really recover and that carried on into the season just gone.”
Swansea went on to have a miserable start to the season, picking up just four points from seven games before Guidolin was shown the door on his birthday. Bradley’s 11-game stint in charge yielded just another eight.
Such a sluggish opening made a relegation battle all-but inevitable and led to what Jenkins refers to as a “near disaster” in the months after the American takeover.
“One of the biggest things you learn is just how important it is that you start the season well in the Premier League,” said Jenkins.
“We have got to get points on the board early, with the way we play that is easier to do without the pressure of fighting relegation.
“That is the way we want to play as a club, it is vital to us. When we start well we have tended to enjoy the season, when we haven’t it has been hard.
“The pressure was immense, it coincided with the managerial changes – which is unusual for us – but also with the takeover.
“To struggle in the first season after a takeover is a near-disaster which we did not want.”
In the end some astute January signings and the arrival of Clement – a man who closely fit the mould of young, hungry, coaches Swansea have traditionally seeked to employ – helped to turn around a desperately disappointing season.
And Jenkins is hoping for a period of managerial stability. In recent years Swansea had tended to lose managers due to the club’s success while the last two years have seen three managers sacked.
“We got through it with Paul Clement coming in, and a bit of a refocus on what we wanted to get out of the team, it worked,” said Jenkins,
“He did a great job, he has done well. We want to make sure he has a full season to work with the squad.
“We need a couple of new faces but they need to be ready to start, that is important.
“We want experienced Premier League players and that is the lesson you learn at a club like this.
“The squad came under quite a bit of criticism, but they showed under the right guidance and with the right coach in charge, they are good players and I am pleased for them.
“There will be changes, some have not played enough and there are others we need to bring in to bring more competition.”