Swansea City AFC
- Name: Swansea City Association Football Club
- Nickname: The Swans / Jacks
- Founded: 1912 (as Swansea Town)
- Renamed: 1969 to Swansea City AFC
- Ground: Liberty Stadium
- Ground capacity: 20,750
The Vetch Field stadium
The Vetch Field was a multi-purpose stadium in Swansea, Wales. It was used mostly for football matches and was the home ground of Swansea City until the club moved to the newly built Liberty Stadium in 2005. Opened in 1912, the ground held around 12,000 at the time of its closure, but upwards of 30,000 at its peak.
As well as being home to the Swans, the Vetch also hosted games for the Wales national football team, with 18 internationals played at the Vetch between 1921 and 1988. Other sports also found a home at the Vetch, with 8 rugby league matches played there between 1990 and 1999. In 1960, local boy Brian Curvis beat the Australian boxer George Barnes at the Vetch to win the Commonwealth (British Empire) Welterweight title.
The stadium also operated as a music venue, hosting The Who in 1976 and Stevie Wonder in 1984.
The Vetch's final Football League fixture was a 1-0 win for Swansea over Shrewsbury Town on 30 April 2005. The last ever game of football to be held at the Vetch was the 2005 FAW Premier Cup final, which saw Swansea beat Wrexham 2–1.
Named due to the vetch (a type of legume - not a cabbage as popularly misbelieved in most of south Wales) that was grown on its surface at the time, the site was owned by Swansea Gaslight Company in 1912, when a professional football team was formed in the town. The site was in a good location and deemed surplus to requirements at the Gas Company, so the club moved in. Originally, the surface was made of compacted coal cinder and players had to wear knee pads for the first season of football there.
Having seen many changes during its 93 years (detailed below), the Vetch took its final bow with an FAW Premier Cup Final against Wrexham. After the game, the seats, turf, advertising hoardings and anything else fans could get their hands on were removed from the ground, and is currently in the process of being demolished as the council seek permission to build on the land there, the entrances have been boarded up and the turf of the pitch has been taken up. The 2004-05 season was the first time in 93 years that the Vetch had the highest average attendance in its division.
On 30 April 2005, Adrian Forbes scored the last ever league goal at the Vetch in Swansea's 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town. The player who scored the final goal at the Vetch was Andy Robinson, who scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Wrexham.
The Centre (South) Stand
Originally built in 1912 to house 1,500 spectators, the Centre Stand went through numerous changes before ending up as a stand that ran only 3/4 the length of the pitch, with a family stand at one end, and some wooden bench seating at the other. It was suggested that the gable and clock be moved to the Liberty Stadium, however as yet nothing has transpired.
The West Terrace
Also the 'Away' stand, it was a single tier terrace and held about 2,000. It was originally a double-decker stand, with seating above the remaining terrace, however the upper tier was first closed and then built over during the late 1980s and early 1990s amid growing safety concerns. The stairs to the upper tier are still visible from the lower. In 2005, the stand was split to accommodate both home and away fans. The stadium had a fairly unique feature only found at Wembley as well, which was an underpass that allowed pedestrians to walk under the pitch.
The North Bank
Originally just a mound of earth with some concrete and railway sleepers on top of it, the 'big bank' grew to be the largest area of the ground. During the late 1950s the supporters' trust paid for a roof to be installed, and during the 1970s and 1980s the Bank became home to the majority of supporters, and the most vocal. Safety concerns reduced its capacity by blocking off a large section at the rear, and following the Hillsborough disaster its safety certificate was again cut, and by the early 21st century it held around 3,500 due to concerns about the front not being covered. The number it could safely hold was increased towards the end of its life, ensuring that the North Bank was filled to capacity for the majority of matches during the final season.
The East Stand
The East Terrace was originally another mound of earth with some railway sleepers, and remained so until the late 1970s, when the club began its rise through the divisions. It became the first area of the ground to be redeveloped, and half the length of the pitch at the 'Town' end of the ground became home to the East Stand. A small layer of steep terracing lay beneath a stand with a capacity of around 2,500. It was also home to one of the most bizarre floodlights in the league, jutting out over the stand, completely out of character with the rest of the ground. Due to the refusal of residents of William Street behind the stand it could not be extended further, and financial problems ensured that it was the only part of the ground to be redeveloped, although originally it was all going to follow.
On 23 May 2009, the ground was put onto the market after being replaced by the Liberty Stadium almost four years earlier.
Plans were originally made to build a community centre and housing development on the Vetch Field site but had not been put through. This includes a 120-unit housing development and a play area. The housing development would include two, three and four-storey homes. The streets would also be organised into safe but accessible “home zones” designed along communities in the Netherlands where vehicle speeds would be restricted. Parts of the Vetch Field could also be included in the overall development in a public display, planned for what was the centre spot of the old stadium.
Swansea Council also hope tenders will be received for the development works this autumn and a preferred developer to be chosen by the start of next year. Meanwhile, Items of memorabilia at the Vetch Field, such as the stadium clock, have been transferred to Swansea Museum.
Demolition work on the ground began on 31 January 2011. The work was predicted to last four to six months. The famous North Bank was the first stand to be pulled down.
Initially there was some controversy as to the whereabouts of the centre stand's clock - on arrival, the contractors noticed it was missing. It was later confirmed in the South Wales Evening Post that it was in the safe hands of a group of people angered by the Council's neglect of such Vetch relics as the clock.
As of May 2011 no full stands remain and all the floodlights have been removed, including the East Stand's unique, bizarre floodlight. By the beginning of June 2011, with the club promoted to the Premier League and passing what's left of the ground on a victory parade, work has begun on the outside walls of the old stadium.
The centre circle, however, will remain, as this is where people's ashes have been spread.
In August 2011 it was confirmed by Swansea Council that the Vetch would be used temporarily for allotments. Coordinated by local artist Owen Griffiths on the historic site of the Vetch Football field, an urban utopia is being created on the site, in collaboration with the local residents.
The Liberty stadium
Liberty Stadium is a sports stadium and conferencing venue located in the Landore area of Swansea, Wales. The stadium is all-seated. It has a capacity of 20,750, making it the largest purpose-built venue in Swansea.
It is the home stadium of Premier League club Swansea City and the Ospreys. As a result of Swansea City's promotion, the stadium became the first Premier League ground in Wales. Liberty Stadium has the smallest capacity of the 20 stadia in the Premier League for the 2013/14 season. It is the third largest stadium in Wales – after Millennium Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium. In European competition the stadium is known as Swansea Stadium due to advertising rights.
With the Vetch Field, St Helen's and The Gnoll no longer being up-to-date venues to play at, and both the Swans and the Ospreys not having the necessary capital to invest into a new stadium, Swansea council and a developer-led consortia submitted a proposal for a sustainable 'bowl' venue for 20,520 seats on a site to the west of the River Tawe on the site of the Morfa Stadium, an athletics stadium owned by the City and County of Swansea council. It was funded by a 355,000 ft retail park on land to the east of the river. The final value of the development being in excess of £50m.
On 10 July 2005, Liberty Stadium was opened and became the home to Swansea City (replacing the Vetch Field) and the Ospreys (replacing St Helen's and The Gnoll). On 23 July 2005, Liberty Stadium was officially opened as Swansea City faced Fulham, (then managed by former Swansea player Chris Coleman) in an friendly match. The match ended in a 1–1 draw with the first goal being scored by Fulham's Steed Malbranque. Swansea's Marc Goodfellow scored during the game to level the match.
Before a league match between Swansea City and Oldham Athletic in October 2005, a statue of Ivor Allchurch was unveiled to commemorate the Swansea-born star who during two spells for the club scored a record 164 goals in 445 appearances.
The first capacity crowd recorded at Liberty Stadium was on the 1 November 2006 when The Ospreys beat Australia 24–16. The stadium has hosted multiple Wales football internationals, listed below.
Seating at Liberty Stadium is often sold out during Swansea City football matches. Swansea City have expressed a desire to have the capacity of the stadium increased and have held talks with Swansea Council during the 2011/2012 season for the future expansion of the Liberty stadium which would be completed in a number of phases beginning with expansion or redevelopment of the east stand.
Plans for a new McDonald's fast food restaurant to be opened near the stadium threw expansion plans into doubt. However, the planning application was withdrawn.
In December 2013, it was reported by BBC News that the European Commission had requested details of the funding of the stadium, as part of a wider inquiry into state aid for sports clubs.
At the start of the 2014-15 Premier League season, a number of changes were made to the stadium. These included 2 new 'Jumbotron' screens on the inside the north and south stands, measuring an estimate of 200 inches.
All televisions in food outlets/concourse being replaced with 50" LG TV screens due to sponsorship New advertising boards with a crowd facing side. The renaming of the south stand to the LG stand due to sponsorship reasons.
During its construction, a variety of names were suggested for it: most commonly used was "White Rock" stadium (after the copper works of the same name which existed on the site historically).
However "White Rock" was only used as a temporary name during its construction and when work was finished, the name was dropped and the stadium owners began looking for sponsors for the stadium.
While sponsors were being searched for, it was called "New Stadium Swansea". On 18 October 2005, Swansea-based developers Liberty Properties Plc won the naming rights to call it "Liberty Stadium". In UEFA matches, it is called Swansea Stadium due to UEFA regulations on sponsorship.
Swansea City Association Football Club is a Welsh professional football club based in the city of Swansea, South Wales that plays in the Premier League.
Swansea City represent England when playing in European competitions, although they have represented Wales in the past. They play their home matches at the Liberty Stadium.
The club was founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921.
The club changed their name in 1969, when it adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swansea's new status as a city.
In 1981, the club were promoted to the original Football League First Division.
It was during the following season they came close to winning the league title, but a decline then set near the season's end before finishing sixth, although a club record.
It was from here the club suffered a relegation the season after, returning to the Football League Fourth Division a few seasons later, then narrowly avoided relegation to the Football Conference in 2003.
Prior to playing home matches at the Liberty Stadium, the team had previously hosted at the Vetch Field.
The Swansea City Supporters Society Ltd owns 20% of the club, with their involvement hailed by Supporters Direct as "the most high profile example of the involvement of a supporters' trust in the direct running of a club".
In 2011, Swansea were promoted to the English Premier League, becoming the first Welsh team to play in it since its formation in 1992.
On 24 February 2013, Swansea beat Bradford City 5–0 to win the 2012–13 Football League Cup (the competition's highest ever winning margin for the final), winning the first major trophy in the club's history and qualifying for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League.
Swansea were drawn with Valencia CF, Kuban Krasnodar and St.Gallen after beating Malmo FF and FC Petrolul Ploiesti in the qualifying rounds.
Swansea progressed to the second round, where they lost over two legs to SSC Napoli.
For further information check out their Official website
Swansea V Arsenal FAC Rnd6 1926
Swansea V Newcastle FAC Rnd5 1952
Swansea V Stoke City FAC Rnd4 1955
Swansea V Sunderland FAC Rnd5 1955
Swansea V Cardiff - Welsh Cup 1961
Ivor Allchurch 1947 to 59 & 1965 to 68
Alan Curtis 1972-79 & 1980-83 & 1989-90
English second tier
Promoted (1): 1980–81
Play-off winners (1): 2010–11
English third tier
Winners (3): 1924–25, 1948–49, 2007–08
Promoted (1): 1978–79
English fourth tier
Winners (1): 1999–2000
Promoted (3): 1969–70, 1977–78, 2004–05
Play-off winners (1): 1987–88
Football League Cup
Winners (1): 2012–13
Football League Trophy
Winners (2): 1993–94, 2005–06
Winners (10): 1912–13, 1931–32, 1949–50, 1960–61,
1965–66, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1988–89, 1990–91
FAW Premier Cup
Winners (2): 2004–05, 2005–06
Early years (1912–1945)
The area around Swansea traditionally had been a rugby area, and despite previous attempts by a football club named Swansea Villa, there were no notable football clubs until the establishment of Swansea Town AFC in the summer of 1912. Following the lead of many other South Wales sides, joined the second division of the Southern League for the following season. J.W. Thorpe was the club's first chairman. A site owned by Swansea Gaslight Co. called Vetch Field due to the vegetables that grew there, was rented to be the club's ground.
The club's first professional match was a 9–9 draw at the Vetch Field against Cardiff City on 7 September 1912. During that first season the Welsh Cup was won for the first time, and the following season the Swans became the first side to reach the First Round of the FA Cup. Blackburn Rovers were the first First Division side to the visit Vetch Field for a competitive game in the 1914–1915 FA Cup – Blackburn Rovers were then the Champions of England, but Swansea Town from the Second Division of the Southern League beat them 1–0 at Vetch Field, Swansea's goal coming from Ben Beynon, while Blackburn Rovers' penalty taker Bradshaw missed a penalty.
Before the game Bradshaw had scored with thirty-six consecutive spot kicks. Remarkably, the Swans played most of the second half with ten men and the final fifteen minutes with just nine men as two players were forced to retire through injury. The Swans drew at another First Division side, Newcastle United, in the next round, before losing narrowly in the replay.
Following the First World War the Southern League dropped its second division, and with many clubs dropping out due to financial difficulties, the Swans were placed in the first division. After just four seasons in the Southern League, Swansea Town became founder members of the new Third Division of The Football League in 1920 and then Division Three (South) the following season.
After five seasons in Division Three (South) and a few failed bids for promotion, the Swans reached the Second Division for the first time in 1925, beating Exeter City 2–1 at home on the final day of the season to beat perennial runners-up Plymouth Argyle to the Championship. The side had remained unbeaten at home in the league all season – something the next promotion team would emulate over twenty years later.
The following season the Swans reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time – beating Exeter City, Watford, Blackpool, Stoke City, Millwall and Arsenal on the way to playing Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane. Sadly for the Swans, an experienced Bolton side won the game 3–0 and went on to win the cup. Swans record their highest average attendance during the season of 16,118 for pre-war league games. During the 1926–27 season they beat Real Madrid 3–0 on tour and reached the FA Cup quarter finals before losing 3–1 to Reading at the Vetch Field.
During the 1931–32 season they finished 20th and went out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. However they won the Welsh Cup after beating Wrexham 2–0 away after a replay, Cyril Pearce scored 35 league goals from 40 games league appearances during the season. It was not until the 1933–34 season that Wilfred Milne scored his first goal for Swansea at Lincoln City after 501 appearances without a goal. In the 1935–36 season the Swans set a league record for longest distance travelled between consecutive matches, Good Friday Swans played at Plymouth(2–1), and Easter Saturday Swans played at Newcastle United(1–2).
After just one season back from wartime football, the Swans finished 21st in the Second Division, and thus returned to Division Three (South) for the first time since 1925. The following season was one of consolidation, however in 1948–1949 the Swans stormed their way to winning the division for the second time. Only one point was dropped at home all season as the feat of the 1925 promotion side was emulated, with the side finishing a whole seven points ahead of second placed Reading. Billy McCandless was the manager who led the side to promotion, and in doing so he completed a rare hat-trick of winning the Third Division (South) title with all three South Wales clubs – and without losing a home game with Swansea or Cardiff.
Following promotion, the Swans had another 15 years of Second Division football to look forward to, however despite what successive managers and chairmen were to say, Swansea Town only once during that time looked like they could genuinely challenge for promotion. That came in the 1955–1956 season, when a side containing the likes of Ivor Allchurch, Terry Medwin, Harry Griffiths and Tom Kiley led the table early in the season, before an injury to Kiley, referred to as the linchpin of the side, in mid-November led to a decline in form. He was never adequately replaced, but despite this and the sale of some of the club's best players, the side remained in contention for promotion until the beginning of April. Following a 6–1 win over second placed Leicester City at the Vetch Field at the end of March the side was just two points behind second placed Liverpool with a game in hand – however subsequent results were not as encouraging, and they eventually slipped away to finish tenth.
In 1964 the Swans reached a second FA Cup semi-final, beating Barrow, Sheffield United and Stoke City on the way to a famous sixth round victory at Anfield. Few gave the Swans, struggling for their lives at the bottom of Division Two, any chance of causing an upset against the league leaders. But the Swans were 2–0 up at half time thanks to Jimmy McLaughlin and Eddie Thomas. Liverpool turned up the pressure in the second half, pulling a goal back before being awarded a penalty nine minutes from time. Ronnie Moran had established an excellent record as a penalty taker, but he failed to beat the excellent Noel Dwyer on this occasion. Fellow second division side Preston North End awaited in the semi-final at Villa Park, but despite taking the lead through McLaughlin again the Swans were to be denied by a second half penalty and a wonder goal from nearly 40 yards.
After flirting with relegation on a few occasions during the previous seasons, the Swans' luck finally ran out a season later in 1965, and they were back in the Third Division.
A downward spiral (1965–1977)
Following relegation Trevor Morris, who had been manager since 1958, was sacked and Glyn Davies, a former Swansea player, was appointed in his place. Davies re-signed the 36-year old Ivor Allchurch from Cardiff City, but despite winning the Welsh Cup the season saw some of the club's heaviest defeats, and the manager only lasted the season. Relegation to Division Four followed in 1967 and Ivor Allchurch retired. Strangely, the 1967/8 season saw the record attendance of 32,796 at the Vetch Field for an FA Cup Fourth Round match against Arsenal.
A tragedy struck the club on 20 January 1969 when players Roy Evans and Brian Purcell were killed in a car crash on the way to a game.
In 1969 the club name was changed to Swansea City, and Roy Bentley's side celebrated by securing promotion back to the Third Division. A record run of 19 matches unbeaten provided the foundations for a promotion challenge in 1971–72, but an awful run towards the end of the season resulted in a mid-table finish. A poor start the following season, combined with falling attendances, saw Bentley resign, and he was replaced by Harry Gregg. Gregg failed to stop the rot and the club was back in the Fourth Division for 1973–74 season.
A record low crowd of just 1,358 watched the Swans against Northampton Town, and the following season the Swans were forced to apply for re-election to the football league after a last day defeat at Rochdale condemned them to a 21st place finish. The application was a success, although by now former player Harry Griffiths had replaced Gregg as manager. Malcolm Struel also took over as chairman, having previously been on the board, and promised a return to former glories, stating that he would not sell the club's best young talent as previous boards had done.
Meteoric rise and equally rapid fall (1977–1986)
Despite promising performances during the first half of the 1977–78 season, Harry Griffiths resigned as Swansea City's manager in February 1978, doubting his own ability to take the club any further. The new manager was former Liverpool, Cardiff City and Wales striker John Toshack. On 1 March 1978, at the age of 28, Toshack became the youngest manager in the Football League, with Griffiths as his assistant. Thus began a remarkable climb from the Fourth Division to the top of the entire league. Despite relinquishing his role as manager before the end of the season, this was Griffiths' team, and the promotion from the Fourth Division was largely his doing. During this season the Swans' record league win was achieved – 8–0 against Hartlepool United. Before promotion was secured, however, Harry Griffiths died of a heart attack on 25 April 1978 before the home game against Scunthorpe United.
A further promotion was achieved next season and the club returned to the Second Division after an absence of 14 years, with Toshack himself coming off the bench to score the winning goal against Chesterfield and thus secure promotion.
After a season of consolidation, Swansea City again challenged for promotion and travelled to Preston North End on 2 May 1981 in the knowledge that victory would assure them a place in the First Division for the first time in the club's history. A 3–1 win guaranteed a third promotion in four seasons and Swansea City joined the footballing élite. The goalscorers on that historic day at Deepdale were Tommy Craig, Leighton James and Jeremy Charles. The 4-year rise from basement to top division is a record in English football, held jointly with Wimbledon F.C.. Coincidentally the Swansea decline started the same year as the Wimbledon rise.
The 1981–82 season began as implausibly as recent history had suggested it might. The fixture computer handed Swansea's upstarts a first-day home game against Leeds United, which Swansea promptly won 5–1 with a hat-trick by debutant Bob Latchford. Swansea had swept from the basement division to the top of the entire Football League in barely three years. Victories over footballing royalty such as Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur followed as the club topped the league on several further occasions. However, injuries to key players took their toll, and the lack of depth in the squad meant that the season ended in sixth-place finish. Furthermore, a fateful combination of poor form, misfortune in the transfer market and financial problems led to a slump which was as quick and spectacular as had been the rise: two consecutive relegations followed, and Toshack was sacked. By 1985, the club was battling for its very survival on two fronts. Whilst its creditors lined up a High Court hearing with the aim of liquidating the club, Swansea City had come to rely on a combination of old stagers and young professionals.
Wound up by court order in December 1985, Swansea City was saved by local businessman Doug Sharpe who took over the running of the club, although the change of ownership was not enough to prevent relegation to the Fourth Division in 1986. Eight years on from the first promotion under Toshack, the club was back where it had started.
In place of strife (1986–1995)
Swansea won promotion from the Fourth Division in 1988 – beating Rotherham United and Torquay United over two legs in the inaugural playoffs. They remained in the league's third tier for the next eight seasons – the longest period of stability the club had seen since the war.
Doug Sharpe may have kept the purse strings tight, but under Terry Yorath and then Frank Burrows, the club managed to stay in the Second Division, reach the playoff semi-finals in 1993 and make their first Wembley appearance a year later.
Burrows guided the Swans to within 180 minutes of Wembley in 1993 – a run of five wins in the last six league matches (all at home) secured a playoff place, and with five minutes remaining of the first leg of the semi-final against West Bromwich Albion, the Swans were 2–0 up. Andy McFarlane scored an own goal when the ball rebounded off the crossbar then into the net off his knee to give West Brom a lifeline, and two early goals in the second leg gave "the Baggies" the advantage, until midfielder Micky Mellon was sent off. Burrows threw on Colin West, however within minutes of coming on the former West Brom striker was sent off, and ended any hopes of a Wembley final.
Although the league campaign the following season did not live up the previous one, mainly due to the sale of key players, Burrows guided the Swans to Wembley for the first time in their history for the final of the Autoglass Trophy. Wins over Plymouth Argyle & Exeter City in the group stage followed by triumphs over Exeter again, Port Vale, Leyton Orient and Wycombe Wanderers over two legs saw the Swans play Huddersfield Town in a final that finished 1–1. Chairman Doug Sharpe brought back the famous hat, and the Swans went on to win 3–1 on penalties.
The following season failed to live up to expectations, although the club again reached the semi-finals of the Auto Windscreens Shield, eventually going out to Birmingham City, and an eventful FA Cup run saw them win at Middlesbrough in a third round replay, before going out to Newcastle United at St James' Park.
The 1995–96 season ended with relegation back to the third division after 8 years. The Swans were doing fine around Christmas time, but a complete collapse in the second half of the season, including a 7–0 FA Cup defeat at third division Fulham, 4–0 and 5–1 defeats at Blackpool and Oxford United respectively, relegation was inevitable, despite the arrival of Jan Mølby.
The difficult years return (1995–2001)
Relegation in 1996 was accompanied by an unfortunate statistic: never before had the club been managed by four men in the same season. Most embarrassing was the appointment of Kevin Cullis as manager by a consortium wishing to buy the club. Cullis, whose previous experience was with non-league Midlands club Cradley Town youth team, was certainly not the "big name" manager promised by the new owners. Alarmed at developments at the club, outgoing chairman Doug Sharpe invoked a contractual clause to cancel the deal and resumed control himself: Cullis was promptly sacked after just six days. During his short-lived reign, his evident lack of ability led to senior players Christian Edwards and Dave Penney ejecting Cullis from the dressing room during half time and giving the team talk themselves in a 4–0 defeat to Blackpool, which proved to be his second and last game in charge.
Cullis's successor was the Dane, Jan Mølby, a former Liverpool player taking his first steps in management. His appointment inevitably prompted comparison with the Toshack era which began nearly 20 years earlier. Despite relegation in 1996, the club reached the final of the 1997 Third Division promotion play-offs but lost to Northampton Town, whose goal came from a re-taken free kick by John Frain in the final minute. Mølby was sacked just weeks into the following season, with Swansea struggling near the foot of the league. After the initial optimism, the Liverpool connection had not caused history to repeat itself. Alan Cork was appointed as manager, but was dismissed after leading the club to its lowest league finish for 23 years. John Hollins was appointed, and things soon started to improve. In 1999, the club reached the promotion play-offs, only to lose in extra time at Scunthorpe United. The season was also notable for a third round FA Cup victory over Premiership opponents West Ham United, whose team included Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and John Hartson. Swansea thus became the first bottom division team to defeat a Premiership club in the FA Cup since the re-organisation of the league structure in 1992.
The club was promoted in 2000 as Division Three champions, following a nail-biting championship decider on the final day of the season against second-placed Rotherham United. Hollins' side certainly proved to be effective and functional, rather than pretty, seemingly winning 1–0 every week on their way to the title. The side conceded just 32 goals during the 1999/2000 season, largely due to the form of excellent centre-back pairing Jason Smith and Matthew Bound, as well as 'keeper Roger Freestone. During the season the side set a record of nine consecutive league victories, and, during the same period, seven consecutive clean sheets. Striker Walter Boyd also set an unwanted record of being the fastest substitute ever sent off, when he was red-carded for striking a Darlington player seconds after being brought on and before play had resumed, therefore being officially recorded as zero seconds.
Promotion was secured courtesy of a 3–0 win over Exeter City at a packed Vetch Field. However, the following week's 1–1 draw at Rotherham United, which confirmed Swansea as Division Three Champions, was overshadowed by the death of supporter Terry Coles, who was trampled to death by a police horse in narrow Millmoor Lane before the game.
Despite significant optimism on the terraces, it was clear that the team was not strong enough to survive in the higher division and relegation occurred in May 2001, just 12 months after promotion. Hollins had failed to strengthen the side at all during the summer, and despite a decent start, a 5–1 defeat at big-spending Reading in September led to a disastrous slide down the table, and the side won just eight games all season, and were saved from bottom spot only by Oxford United being even worse. Hollins' certainly was not helped by lack of investment from the board and injury to key players, but the fans patience wore thin as his continual insistence that the squad was good enough to survive grew more comical by the week. Relegation seemed certain following a 5–3 defeat at fellow strugglers Luton Town, where Giovanni Savarese scored a hat-trick, however Hollins' maintained that the side could stay up, even when 18 points were needed from the final six matches, and for two other teams to pick up no more points.
Last years at Vetch Field and return to League One (2001–2005)
In July 2001, following relegation back to Third Division, the club was sold to managing director Mike Lewis for £1. Lewis subsequently sold on his stake to a consortium of Australian businessmen behind the Brisbane Lions (Australian rules football) football team, fronted by Tony Petty. Seven players were sacked and eight others saw their contracts terminated, angering supporters and sanctions were threatened by the Football League with a rival consortium headed by ex-player Mel Nurse seeking to buy out the new owners. During this period Hollins was sacked after a poor start to the season, and Colin Addison took over as manager. The turmoil led to the creation of the Swansea City Supporters' Trust, which sought to save the club and ultimately guarantee supporter representation on the club's board.
The Petty group sold its stake in January 2002 after a bitter stand-off with the Nurse consortium, which was supported by the majority of the club's fans. Jim Moore & Mel Griffin, previously rescuers of Hull City FC, stepped into the breach and persuaded Petty to sell to them (as he had promised to bankrupt the club & make it extinct rather than sell to Nurse). From there Moore became Chairman for three weeks giving the "Mel Nurse Consortium" time to organize its finances. Having successfully reorganized the finances of Hull City FC, both Moore & Griffin were believers in clubs belonging in the hands of local people, and so believing Nurses group were best for The Swans, subsequently passed the club onto Nurses consortium for the fee of £1. Despite problems off the pitch, Addison's side had managed a mid-table position, but lack of funds led to his dismissal in early March, and under Nick Cusack the club slumped to a 20th placed-finish. Cusack lasted just eight games into the following season, and was sacked after a 1–0 defeat at league debutants Boston United had put the Swans on the bottom of the Football League for the first time in its 91-year history. He was replaced by Brian Flynn. Swansea City avoided relegation to the Football Conference on the last day of the season, at the expense of Exeter City, a club then vice-chaired by Mike Lewis.
Brian Flynn's side finished 2003–04 10th and reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time in 24 years, eventually losing 2–1 at Tranmere Rovers. Flynn was dismissed and replaced by Kenny Jackett. Jackett lost his first six matches in charge, ending any hope of a play-off place. The following season Jackett recruited a number of new defensive players and set a record of seven consecutive home clean sheets, all victories. The Swans' last season at the Vetch Field saw the club win promotion on the last day of the season, clinching a 3rd-placed finish with a 1–0 win away to Bury. Their last league game at their old ground was a 1–0 win over Shrewsbury Town, with the last game of any sort being a 2–1 win against Wrexham in the final of the 2005 FAW Premier Cup.
Move to the Liberty Stadium and return to the top flight (2005–2011)
The club moved to the new Liberty Stadium during the summer of 2005. The first competitive game was a 1–0 victory against Tranmere Rovers in August 2005. In their first season back in League One, Swansea, after beating Brentford in the semi-finals, lost on penalties to Barnsley in the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. That same season, Swansea won the Football League Trophy for the first time since 1994, and the FAW Premier Cup for a second successive year.
In the following season Jackett resigned as manager in mid-season to be replaced by Roberto Martínez. Martínez's arrival saw an improvement in form, but Swansea missed out on the play-offs again. The following season, an 18-game unbeaten run helped them to the League One title. The club amassed a total of 92 points over the course of the season, the highest ever by a Welsh club in the Football League. Five Swansea players were in the PFA Team of the Year, including the division's 29-goal top scorer Jason Scotland. That same season Swansea lost on penalties to Milton Keynes Dons in the area final of the Football League Trophy.
Upon returning to the second tier of English football after 24 years Swansea City finished the 2008–09 season in eighth place, and missed out on the play-offs the following season by a single point. After an impressive 63 wins in 126 games for Swansea City, Martínez left for Wigan Athletic on the 15 June 2009 with his tenure returning just 26 losses in that time. He was replaced by Portuguese Paulo Sousa who adopted a more defensive style of play whilst also retaining the slick and effective continental game of 'tiki-taka' football that was installed by his immediate predecessor. Sousa subsequently left Swansea to take charge at Leicester City on 5 July 2010, lasting just 1 year and 13 days in South Wales. However, just before the departure of Sousa, on 15 May 2010, Swansea player Besian Idrizaj tragically suffered a heart attack in his native Austria while on international duty. The club retired the number 40 shirt in his memory, and the players wore shirts dedicated to Idrizaj after their victory in the play-off final.
Northern Irishman Brendan Rodgers took charge for the 2010–11 season. He guided the club to a third placed finish and qualification for the Championship play-offs, with the new manager again keeping the continental style of play introduced by Martínez. After beating Nottingham Forest 3–1 on aggregate in the semi-final they defeated Reading 4–2 in the final at Wembley Stadium, with Scott Sinclair scoring a hat-trick.
Premier League & Europe (2011–present)
By being promoted to the Premier League for the 2011–12 season, Swansea became the first Welsh team to play in the division since its formation in 1992. Swansea signed Danny Graham from Watford for a then record fee of £3.5 million. They defeated Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City, the eventual champions, at home during the season. Swansea finished their debut Premier League season in 11th, but at the end of the season Brendan Rodgers left to manage Liverpool. He was replaced by Michael Laudrup for the 2012–13 Premier League season. His first league game ended in a 5–0 victory over Queens Park Rangers away at Loftus Road. This saw Swansea joint top of the Premier League, making it the first time since October 1981 the team had been at the summit of the top tier. Swansea then went top for two hours after beating West Ham United 3–0 at the Liberty Stadium, which Michu scoring his third goal in two games.
On 15 October 2012 the board of directors announced that the club had made a profit of £14.2 million after their first season in the Premier League, and that the expansion of the Liberty Stadium will conducted in two separate phases when the timing is right for the club. On 1 December, Swansea picked up a 2–0 away win against Arsenal, with Michu scoring twice during the last minutes of the game, in Swansea's first win at Arsenal in three decades.
On 24 February 2013, Swansea beat Bradford City 5–0 in the League Cup final. This triumph, in a record victory, was Swansea's first major piece of silverware. On 8 April 2013, Swansea announced record profits of £15.9 million for six months up to November 2012, including an 11% increase in commercial revenue. Swansea City finished the season in 9th place in the Premier League, improving upon the league standing achieved in the previous season. On 11 July 2013, Swansea paid a club record transfer fee of £12 million to secure the signing of striker Wilfried Bony from Vitesse; Bony was the leading goalscorer in the 2012-13 Eredivisie with 31 goals and was named Dutch Player of the Year.
In February 2014, Laudrup was dismissed from the club. Defender Garry Monk, a Swansea player since 2004, was named as his replacement.
Swansea finished eighth in the Premier League 1n 2014-15 with a record 56 points.
Garry Monk was sacked on 9th December 2015 following a poor run of form.
On 18 January 2016, Francesco Guidolin was named new Swansea City manager, while Alan Curtis would be accepting the role of an assistant manager.
On 3rd October 2016, with Swansea sitting 17th in the Premier League after 7 games, it was announced that Francesco Guidolin had been sacked, and in his place, new manager Bob Bradley had been appointed. Bradley lasted just only 85 days in charge, after 7 defeats in 11 games, saw the first American Premier League manager sacked.
Chairman Huw Jenkins said: "We felt we had to make the change with half the Premier League season remaining." He added: "With the club going through such a tough time, we have to try and find the answers to get ourselves out of trouble. "Personally, I have nothing but praise for Bob. He is a good man; a good person who gave everything to the job. His work-rate is phenomenal and we wish him well for the future."
On 3rd Jan 2017, Swansea City announced that they had hired Paul Clement as their new manager, who signed a 2 1/2 year deal.
After a bad run of form and Swansea lying in last place in the Premier League, Paul Clement was sacked on 20th December 2017. Leon Britton took temporary charge until the process of employing a new manager was complete.
On 28th December 2017, Swansea hired former Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal. However, it was not enough to ensure Premier League survival, and on the final day of the season, Swansea were relegated.