Chairman's column: Watford

23rd September 2017

Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins gives an update on the club taking full control of the Liberty Stadium in his programme notes for today's clash with Watford.

A warm welcome once again to everyone here at the Liberty Stadium for today's Premier League game against Watford.

I think things are finally starting to settle down in the Premier League after the closure of the transfer window and with the first international break out of the way.

In my opinion, the overall quality of football on offer throughout the top flight will struggle to hit the high standards we all enjoy and have become accustomed to because there are so many interruptions in the first half of the campaign.

It makes the quality of football we all want to see very difficult to maintain because players are still getting used to one another, while it will take managers time to implement different tactics to suit the strengths and weaknesses of their squads.

Only by playing together week-in, week-out can players form the relationships needed and find the chemistry and rhythm required to bring out the best in any top team.

Away from the first-team spotlight, there's so much going on at the club these days with our COO Chris Pearlman working hard to finalise an agreement with Swansea City Council and the Ospreys to take full control of the Liberty Stadium.

That agreement could be the catalyst to move forward on many fronts, including the much-awaited stadium expansion.

Our academy is growing all the time. While we were all delighted to eventually gain category one status – which we made our target a few years ago – we must now look forward again and firmly focus on bridging the gap between the academy and the first team so we start producing regular Premier League starters for Swansea City.

This challenge exists for all Premier League clubs that run category one academies.

As a club, we must have strong leadership going forward to make our academy stand out from the rest and become a leader for others to follow.

I was sad to hear the news of another long-serving Swans fan, Heather Walters, from Mumbles, passing away recently.

Heather not only supported the club home and away, but worked for many, many years organising the distribution and sale of our matchday programme.

She did this on a voluntary basis, such was her affinity for the club, and was loved by so many people.

Lovely, genuine people like Heather are the life and soul of this football club and she will be sadly missed.

A warm welcome to all directors, staff, players and fans who have travelled to Swansea with Watford today.

Watford have appointed a new manager this season in Marco Silva – a young manager we knew very well from his time at Hull City last season.

Marco proved at Hull what a bright young manager he is, and although Hull eventually suffered relegation, he was very much sought after and a return to the Premier League duly followed in the summer.

Watford have also invested in their playing squad this summer and no doubt everyone at the club will be expecting a successful season ahead.

Today's fixture is yet another big challenge for everyone connected to the first team as we to try to secure three more points.

We picked up an excellent, hard-earned draw against Spurs at Wembley last week which was followed up with a 2-0 win the Carabao Cup at Reading.

But it certainly won’t get any easier. The Premier League will be more competitive than ever this season as the rewards linked to success become greater than ever.

But if we all stick together, then we will have more chance of success.

Enjoy the game.