Your club needs you

29th March 2014

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not ready to go back to the Championship.
I mean no disrespect to that division, I've always said the Swans need to remember where they came from and I would never dream of looking down my nose at the Championship or the rest of the Football League.
It's not so long ago that we were almost in a position where we would have been looking up at the Football League.
But the club has worked so hard to get into the top flight and been through so much on the way, it would be a massive shame for our adventure to come to an end now.
There were times when I never believed the club would get back to the top flight, which makes this experience all the more valuable and all the more difficult to give up. If we let go now, we may never get the chance again.
Personally, I've got a taste for the big time and I want more.
So it's time to start fighting for our future and give the boys every ounce of support we can muster in order to make sure we stay in the Premier League.
The support has already been magnificent; we've earned a reputation for the passion and volume of our support all around the country. But it's time to take it up to even greater levels between now and the final whistle of the final game of the season.
If it means a few sore throats between now and the end of the season then surely it will be worth it to see the Swans starting a fourth term in the top flight come August.
We have to face the unpalatable truth that we are in for a fight over the remaining games. It's not panic stations yet, but let's not wait until it get's to that stage...I don't think my ticker can take the tension!
It's been a long time since we have been caught at the wrong end of the table as a season draws to a close, but I can remember the feeling like it was yesterday.
The tension in the air the day we played Hull for our Football League survival was almost unbearable.
But as well as unbearable, the atmosphere in the Vetch that day was also unbelievable. I defy any footballer not to be inspired by support like that.
We need to reproduce that kind of electric atmosphere in every game from this afternoon onwards.
Your club needs YOU now.
Anyone who thinks our support doesn't make a difference on the pitch, think again.
Time after time the players have spoken about how much our backing can raise and inspire them to greater heights.
There's a saying in sport about making sure you leave nothing out on the pitch.
Well let's make sure we leave nothing in the stands.
There's no point in us fans looking back at the end of the season and wishing we had done more to back the boys and keep them in the top flight.
It's impossible to overstate how important Premier League football is, not only to the players, staff and supporters of the Swans, but to the South West Wales region in general.
This isn't just about the football on the pitch and being able to see the Swans challenging the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Valencia and Napoli.
Look at what Premier League football has done for this city - it has transformed its character and it has also produced physical improvements.
There have been the indefinable and probably immeasurable benefits to the local population. I suppose what many would describe as the "feel good factor".
There has been a buzz around the city and the whole South West Wales region since the Swans have been in the Premier League.
I think it has put a spring in people's step and made them walk even taller than before.
And then there are the measurable, tangible benefits. The increase in tourism, the rise in people from all over the world wanting to study at Swansea University, the tens of millions of pounds injected into the local economy.
Money simply cannot buy the kind of publicity, exposure and goodwill across the globe that being in the Premier League has generated.
And what about the new facilities? If nothing else comes from our time in the Premier League, we now have the fantastic training facilities that have been built adjacent to the Liberty Stadium and the ones at Fairwood.
They will provide the opportunity for more youngsters like Ben Davies to come through and play for their local club at the very highest level.
No longer will the very best of our talented young Welsh players have to leave the area to seek fame and fortune at the top end of the game. They can do it right here on their doorstep.
And it won't just benefit those few elite players who do make the grade; the overall standard of football throughout the area will rise.
If players do have to move elsewhere to get their chance, they will have been given the best possible start and tutored at home in the Swansea way.
All this has happened in the first three seasons, so imagine what other benefits could be reaped by the region in future years with potential increases in matchday income from an expanded Liberty Stadium and rising TV revenues.
That's an awful lot to give up without a fight.
But above all, what I don't want to lose is that priceless feeling of pride deep inside when you watch 11 players with the Swans crest on their chest walking out onto the pitch to take on some of the true giants of world football - and beat them.
That's got to be worth shouting for.