Swansea chairman quits amid struggles under US ownership

SWANSEA, Wales (AP) — Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins quit on Saturday, saying he could no longer “fight on in a football club I love but can no longer control” amid its struggles under American ownership.

The second-tier club responded with a statement criticizing recent player recruitment, and saying “it has reached a stage where the way Swansea City has been run on a day-to-day basis has to change.”

In a statement to the BBC, Jenkins said he has been left with “little or no option (but) to leave my position” after 17 years, during which Swansea nearly dropped out of the English league system before rising all the way to the Premier League in 2011.

Swansea said the exit of Jenkins “is an opportunity to rejuvenate, to bring in fresh methods of working and move forward with a strong decision-making process.”

The club was relegated last season, two years after American businessmen Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien bought a controlling stake.

Swansea is 13th in the second-tier League Championship. Supporters’ groups have criticized the owners for lacking ambition, with Swansea making no signings in the January transfer window and losing more key players.

“Gradually over the last few seasons, my role as chairman providing such leadership and direction has been eroded away,” Jenkins said in quotes carried by the BBC. “Finally I can sit back no longer and hide behind my position and stay true to myself and my beliefs.”

“It has taken me some time,” he added, “to finally come to this decision but the current atmosphere with in the football club on and off the football field saddens me very much and I find it very difficult to fight on in a football club I love but can no longer control.”