Swansea City A.F.C.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 09/2014
Swansea City Association Football Club
1912; 102 years ago (as Swansea Town)
Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Premier League, 12th
Swansea City Association Football Club is a Welsh professional football club based in the city of Swansea, South Wales that plays in the Premier League.
Swansea City represent England when playing in European competitions, although they have represented Wales in the past.
They play their home matches at the Liberty Stadium.
The club was founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921.
The club changed their name in 1969, when it adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swansea's new status as a city.
In 1981, the club were promoted to the original Football League First Division.
It was during the following season they came close to winning the league title, but a decline then set near the season's end before finishing sixth, although a club record.
It was from here the club suffered a relegation the season after, returning to the Football League Fourth Division a few seasons later, then narrowly avoided relegation to the Football Conference in 2003.
Prior to playing home matches at the Liberty Stadium, the team had previously hosted at the Vetch Field.
The Swansea City Supporters Society Ltd owns 20% of the club, with their involvement hailed by Supporters Direct as "the most high profile example of the involvement of a supporters' trust in the direct running of a club".
In 2011, Swansea were promoted to the English Premier League, becoming the first Welsh team to play in it since its formation in 1992.
On 24 February 2013, Swansea beat Bradford City 5:0 to win the 2012-13 Football League Cup (the competition's highest ever winning margin for the final), winning the first major trophy in the club's history and qualifying for the 2013-14 UEFA Europa League.
Swansea were drawn with Valencia CF, Kuban Krasnodar and St.Gallen after beating Malmo FF and FC Petrolul Ploiesti in the qualifying rounds.
Swansea progressed to the second round, where they lost over two legs to SSC Napoli.
MOVE TO the Liberty Stadium and return to the top flight (2005-2011)
The club moved to the new Liberty Stadium during the summer of 2005.
The first competitive game was a 1:0 victory against Tranmere Rovers in August 2005.
In their first season back in League One, Swansea, after beating Brentford in the semi-finals, lost on penalties to Barnsley in the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
That same season, Swansea won the Football League Trophy for the first time since 1994, and the FAW Premier Cup for a second successive year.
In the following season Jackett resigned as manager in mid-season to be replaced by Roberto Martínez.
Martínez's arrival saw an improvement in form, but Swansea missed out on the play-offs again.
The following season, an 18-game unbeaten run helped them to the League One title.
The club amassed a total of 92 points over the course of the season, the highest ever by a Welsh club in the Football League.
Five Swansea players were in the PFA Team of the Year, including the division's 29-goal top scorer Jason Scotland.
That same season Swansea lost on penalties to Milton Keynes Dons in the area final of the Football League Trophy.
Upon returning to the second tier of English football after 24 years Swansea City finished the 2008-09 season in eighth place, and missed out on the play-offs the following season by a single point.
After an impressive 63 wins in 126 games for Swansea City, Martínez left for Wigan Athletic on the 15 June 2009 with his tenure returning just 26 losses in that time.
He was replaced by Portuguese Paulo Sousa who adopted a more defensive style of play whilst also retaining the slick and effective continental game of 'tiki-taka' football that was installed by his immediate predecessor.
Sousa subsequently left Swansea to take charge at Leicester City on 5 July 2010, lasting just 1 year and 13 days in South Wales.
However, just before the departure of Sousa, on 15 May 2010, Swansea player Besian Idrizaj tragically suffered a heart attack in his native Austria while on international duty.
The club retired the number 40 shirt in his memory, and the players wore shirts dedicated to Idrizaj after their victory in the play-off final.
Northern Irishman Brendan Rodgers took charge for the 2010-11 season.
He guided the club to a third placed finish and qualification for the Championship play-offs, with the new manager again keeping the continental style of play introduced by Martínez.
After beating Nottingham Forest 3:1 on aggregate in the semi-final they defeated Reading 4:2 in the final at Wembley Stadium, with Scott Sinclair scoring a hat-trick.
PREMIER LEAGUE & EUROPE (2011- present)
By being promoted to the Premier League for the 2011-12 season, Swansea became the first Welsh team to play in the division since its formation in 1992.
Swansea signed Danny Graham from Watford for a then record fee of £3.5 million.
They defeated Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City, the eventual champions, at home during the season.
Swansea finished their debut Premier League season in 11th, but at the end of the season Brendan Rodgers left to manage Liverpool.
He was replaced by Michael Laudrup for the 2012-13 Premier League season.
His first league game ended in a 5:0 victory over Queens Park Rangers away at Loftus Road.
This saw Swansea joint top of the Premier League, making it the first time since October 1981 the team had been at the summit of the top tier.
Swansea then went top for two hours after beating West Ham United 3:0 at the Liberty Stadium, which Michu scoring his third goal in two games.
On 15 October 2012 the board of directors announced that the club had made a profit of £14.2 million after their first season in the Premier League, and that the expansion of the Liberty Stadium will conducted in two separate phases when the timing is right for the club.
On 1 December, Swansea picked up a 2:0 away win against Arsenal, with Michu scoring twice during the last minutes of the game, in Swansea's first win at Arsenal in three decades.
On 24 February 2013, Swansea beat Bradford City 5:0 in the League Cup final.
This triumph, in a record victory, was Swansea's first major piece of silverware.
On 8 April 2013, Swansea announced record profits of £15.9 million for six months up to November 2012, including an 11% increase in commercial revenue.
Swansea City finished the season in 9th place in the Premier League, improving upon the league standing achieved in the previous season.
On 11 July 2013, Swansea paid a club record transfer fee of £12 million to secure the signing of striker Wilfried Bony from Vitesse.
Bony was the leading goalscorer in the 2012-13 Eredivisie with 31 goals and was named Dutch Player of the Year.
In February 2014, Laudrup was dismissed from the club. Defender Garry Monk, a Swansea player since 2004, was named as his replacement.
Before Swansea Town was established, children would play football on waste ground in which a plant, called "vetch" (a type of legume) was grown.
The site was owned by Swansea Gaslight Company in 1912, but was deemed surplus to requirements at the Gas Company.
So Swansea Town moved in when they were established in 1912.
The ground originally held 12,000, but hit its peak attendance of 32,786 in an 1967 FA cup Fifth Round against Arsenal.
The last league goal ever scored at the Vetch was scored by Adrian Forbes, on 30 April 2005, as Swansea beat Shrewsbury Town 1:0.
With a rapidly deteriorating Vetch Field, Swansea looked to relocate.
As Swansea and the Ospreys did not have the capital to invest in a new stadium, the Swansea City Council and a developer-led consortia submitted a proposal for a sustainable 'bowl' venue for 20,520 seats on a site to the west of the river on the site of the Morfa Stadium, which the Council owned.
It was funded by a 355,000 ft retail park on land to the east of the river. The final value of the development being in excess of £50m.
On 23 July 2005, The Liberty Stadium was officially opened as Swansea faced Fulham in a friendly game.
The Liberty Stadium capacity was 20,532 though has been increased to 20,750.
The highest attendance recorded at the stadium came against Tottenham Hotspur on 19 January 2014 with 20,769 spectators, beating the previous record of 20,733.
The stadium has also hosted three Welsh international football matches:
• the first being a 0:0 draw with Bulgaria in 2006
• the second a 2:1 defeat to Georgia in 2008
• and a 2:0 win over Switzerland on 7 October 2011.
The first international goal to be scored at the Liberty Stadium was a 25-yard effort from Welsh international Jason Koumas.
On 1 July 2012, it was widely reported in national media that Swansea City FC were beginning the planning phase for expanding the Liberty Stadium by approximately 12,000 seats.
This plan would be conditional on a successful second season in the Premier League and could cost up to £15,000,000; the increase would result in a capacity of approximately 32,000 seats.
Later that same year the board of directors announced that planning applications were to be put forward to the council authority, making the Liberty Stadium the largest sportsclub-owned stadium in Wales.
Swansea City's main rivals are Cardiff City, with the rivalry described as among the most hostile in British football.
Matches between these two clubs are known as the South Wales derbies and are usually one of the highlights of the season for both sets of supporters.
To a lesser extent, Swansea City's other rivals are Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, and Newport County.
However, Swansea very rarely meet Newport as they are currently separated by three divisions, while the two clubs share a mutual rivalry with Cardiff City.
Swansea have won 35 of the 105 competitive meetings, compared to Cardiff's 43 who also have the biggest result between the two sides with Swansea losing 5:0 in 1965, with a further 27 drawn; still to this day neither team has done the double.
Following Swansea City's promotion to the Championship, the clubs were drawn in the League Cup which would be the first meeting between both sides for nine years.
Swansea City won the tie with a solitary goal from a deflected free-kick taken by Jordi Gómez.
The match saw sets of supporters from both clubs clash with police after the match.
The next two league games both finished in 2:2 draws.
However, the derby game at Ninian Park was marred with controversy as referee Mike Dean was struck by a coin from a Cardiff City supporter.
In the 2009-10 season, Swansea beat Cardiff 3:2 at the Liberty Stadium in November, before losing 2:1 in Cardiff in April after a late Michael Chopra strike.
With Swansea and Cardiff both pushing for promotion to the Premier League, the first derby at the new Cardiff City Stadium, and the first Cardiff win in nine meetings between the sides, was billed as being the biggest South Wales derby of all time, in respect to the league positions of the teams and how close it came to the end of the season.
Despite their promising league positions leading up to the derby, neither side gained promotion at the end of that campaign, and so the South Wales derby was once again played out at Championship level during the 2010-11 season - Swansea beating Cardiff 1:0 away with a late winner from then on-loan Marvin Emnes before losing their home game due to a late strike from Craig Bellamy.
Following Swansea's promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2010-11 season, the South Wales derby was again put on hiatus.
It would be two seasons before the sides met once more, this time on the worldwide stage of the English Premier League.
On 3 November 2013, Cardiff took the bragging rights in the first ever Premier League South Wales derby, enjoying a 1:0 win courtesy of ex-Swan Steven Caulker at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The return fixture for that season took place on 8 February 2014 at Swansea's Liberty Stadium, a match in which interim player-manager Garry Monk would make his managerial début following the sacking of Michael Laudrup.
The Swans took revenge for the defeat earlier in the season with a convincing 3:0 win.