Leon Britton appointed Swansea City's first sporting director

4th September 2019

Swansea City is pleased to confirm that Leon Britton has been promoted to the new role of Sporting Director.

Britton was appointed as advisor to the board by new chairman Trevor Birch at the end of last season after retiring as a player in May 2018 with 536 appearances to his name over a 16-year period with the Swans.

The club legend, who played in all four divisions for the Swans after arriving, initially on loan, from West Ham in 2002, was heavily involved in the recruitment of new head coach Steve Cooper in the summer, together with the appointment of Andy Scott as head of recruitment.

Having worked very closely with Birch and Scott in the transfer market since his appointment, Britton has impressed in his new administrative role to such an extent that the Swans chairman was keen to increase his status and influence at the club.

“I have been extremely impressed with his knowledge, intelligence and passion for the game and the club,’’ explained Birch. “And Swansea City has already seen the benefits of his input with the footballing appointments we have made so far.

“Having been a former player here for so long - and respected so highly by the fans, staff and players - it made perfect sense to get him involved; initially as an advisor. Since then he and I have worked really well together, and he has struck up a great working relationship with Steve. 

leon britton in spain

“I’ve been keen to establish a team ethos throughout the club and create that feeling of being joined up between the management and coaching staff and all being in it together. I think Leon helps to create that togetherness with his strong relationship with Steve and his coaching team, plus our head of recruitment Andy Scott. I believe we have formed a really close management team behind the scenes.

“Leon has demonstrated a great understanding of what we are trying to achieve here at Swansea City and this new role is recognition of that work and the experience and quality he can bring to the table as we look to rebuild the football operation and bring the club back to its roots and the community.

“As an icon of the club who typifies what Swansea City is all about, I’m sure our supporters will be delighted he will be at the forefront of driving this football club forward.’’

Britton, who helped the Swans escape relegation from the Football League in 2003, had previously spent time on the coaching staff under former manager Paul Clement, plus two games as the club’s caretaker manager and a season as club ambassador.

Going forward, the 36-year-old will continue to work closely on all aspects of football administration with the chairman.

Birch added: “I’m really looking forward to working with Leon and the rest of the team. I’m excited about developing the club behind the scenes and creating a successful and long-term sustainable future for Swansea City.’’

The Britton Success Story

Leon Britton was born and raised in London, but his association with Swansea stretches back to 2002.

Once the most expensive schoolboy in British football when Harry Redknapp paid £400,000 to take the Lilleshall graduate to Upton Park from Arsenal, he was signed by Swansea manager Brian Flynn on loan from Premier League West Ham in December 2002.

The Swans were struggling at the foot of League Two at the time. But Britton helped the club secure their Football League status with a vital 4-2 final-day victory over Hull City that included the midfielder winning a crucial penalty.

Britton was signed permanently that summer following contributions towards his wages from the fans in a Supporters Trust initiative labelled 'The Battle for Britton'.

The popular figure - who played under 11 permanent and two caretaker managers during his time at the Vetch Field and the Liberty - went on to win promotion to League One in 2005 and then the Championship in 2008 before leaving for Sheffield United as a free agent in 2010.

But he returned under Brendan Rodgers six months later with current Swans chairman Trevor Birch – who was CEO of Sheffield United at the time – sanctioning his return to the Liberty.

Britton went on to help the Swans win promotion to the Premier League with a play-off final victory over Reading at Wembley. He also featured in the club's Football League Trophy win in 2006 and the League Cup triumph in 2013, playing in the run to the Europa League last 32 the following season.

When he retired in May 2018, he had firmly established himself as one of the Swans’ greatest ever players.