Chairman's column: Newcastle United

10th September 2017

Chairman Huw Jenkins reflects on the recent transfer activities at Swansea City in his programme notes ahead of today's fixture against Newcastle United.

Good afternoon and another warm welcome to everyone here at the Liberty Stadium for today's Premier League game against Newcastle United.

With the summer transfer window finally closed and the first international break out of the way, things will start to settle down at most Premier League clubs up and down the country.

Head coaches and managers will start to concentrate on the players they have within their squad and shut out the outside influences that can be a major distraction when the transfer window is open.

I must point out that Paul Clement has been a joy to work with during this window and I'm sure he will have gained some invaluable experience to help him within his career in the years ahead.

I'm also convinced Paul found out quite quickly that in football you can gain an army of friends overnight that say they can help you sign great players from all over the world.

When I say one of the biggest parts of running a football club is keeping players out, I'm sure Paul understands that a bit more clearly now!

There's a fine line when you have to weigh up whether to try to keep your best players during a transfer window or allow them to move on if they make their feelings clear that their focus is elsewhere.

Obviously the deal has to be right for the selling club first and foremost, but in my view the overriding factor must be motivation levels within the squad.

When every major football club around the world is working hard and spending millions to try to make small gains that could make the difference between winning and losing, it's a no-brainer for me to make 100 per cent sure every member of Paul’s squad is focused only on Swansea City.

For me, team spirit and togetherness have been paramount to our success over the last 10 years.

And with an ever-increasing financial divide in the Premier League, that togetherness will be vital to help us compete in the years ahead.

With five new outfield players joining our first-team squad this summer in Roque Mesa, Tammy Abraham, Sam Clucas, Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony, there seems to be a strong, positive feel around our football club.

So, with a little luck, once everyone settles into the new surroundings and gets used to each other on the field, we can all enjoy a successful season ahead.

I know Paul and his staff will work hard to give the club every opportunity to compete in every match we play this season.

And I’m sure every supporter connected to Swansea City will get behind the club fully in everything we try to achieve.

Finally, a warm welcome to all directors, staff, players and supporters of Newcastle United who have made the long journey to south west Wales for today's televised Premier League encounter.

I'm sure Rafa Benitez will use all his vast experience to help Newcastle enjoy a successful season following their promotion in May.

Enjoy the game.