Chairman's update on Oli McBurnie

2nd August 2019

Following the completion of Oli McBurnie's move to Sheffield United, Swansea City chairman Trevor Birch has provided the following update to supporters.

"I can fully appreciate and understand that supporters will be disappointed to see Oli leave the football club. I can assure you, I’m just as disappointed. He’s a great player and a large character who will be sorely missed.

"We did not want to lose him and had turned down three previous bids from Sheffield United over the last few weeks, but their fourth and final bid was at a level that we had to seriously consider.

“I had mentioned in my communications to our supporters previously that we would only sell if an offer came in that I felt we couldn’t ignore.

“I believe the offer for Oli was at that level and we wouldn’t be putting the future of the club and its supporters first if we turned it down, because I have to think about the long-term stability and sustainability of the club.

Head coach Steve Cooper speaks with chairman Trevor Birch.

“As I’ve discussed previously, we still have a substantial financial deficit to overcome following relegation. The transfer of Dan James to Manchester United gave us breathing space, as did Jordan Ayew’s move to Crystal Palace from a wage perspective, but we still have some way to go to get this club back on a sound financial footing.

“You only have to look around at clubs like Bolton Wanderers and Bury to see how easy it is to get into financial difficulties and how important it is to run a club on a responsible financial basis. I dread to think what their supporters are feeling at the moment. These clubs could literally go out of business.

“That’s why the offer for Oli had to be accepted. We couldn’t afford to take the financial gamble. As I said earlier, I know how disappointed our fans will be, but I can only stress that during our rebuilding process we have to suffer some short-term pain for long-term gain.

Oli McBurnie

“I’m optimistic about the future as we have made some great appointments behind the scenes which I hope will pay long-term dividends in terms of our performance and future recruitment. This football club is too important to the community and our supporters for us to take the wrong decisions at this stage and gamble with its future.

“That is the honest position we are in because we have to work within our current financial framework.

“We’ve still got the nucleus of a really strong team with huge potential. I can only stress that we will do our utmost to bring in replacements that will further strengthen us and enable us to mount a challenge in the Championship this season – and give you a team and a club to be proud of for many years to come.’’