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Huw Jenkins hailed as Swansea's 'driving force'
Published : 19 Feb 2013 16:17:28
Chairman Huw Jenkins has been hailed as an inspiring off-field leader as Swansea gear up for their first major cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
The Swans face League Two Bradford in the Capital One Cup final, less than 10 years after beating Hull on the final day of the 2002-03 season to retain their Football League status and stave off the threat of possible extinction.
Supporters' Trust spokesperson Alan Lewis believes Jenkins has made the greatest contribution of those who have turned the club's fortunes around. He told Press Association Sport: "I am sure his fellow board members would say themselves that Huw deserves huge credit. Huw has probably put in as much time as anyone in getting the club to where we are now."
He came on board as part of the consortium brought together through the then newly-formed Swansea City Supporters' Trust, which managed to force unpopular Australia-based businessman Tony Petty out of the club in January of 2002.
Since then, Jenkins has overseen the club's rise up the league ladder and the switch from the Vetch Field to their current Liberty Stadium home.
He has proved himself particularly shrewd when it comes to the appointment of managers, bringing in the likes of Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa, Brendan Rodgers and current boss Michael Laudrup to ensure the club's attractive style of play is continued.
Jenkins has also kept a firm handle on club finances, and the debt-free Swans announced a record profit of £14.6 million after their first top-flight season.
Lewis added: "He would admit himself that when the consortium got together he ended up as chairman as no-one wanted to do it, and none of them had ever run a football club, even though they were businessmen.
"It was a huge personal effort on his behalf and the club ethos he has put in place is one all the directors sign up to and he leads the way in that. His contribution has been as significant, if not more so, than anyone in this story.
"He has had to manage the profile of the club, which is as high as it has ever been, and make sure the future is a sustainable one whether the club had survived in the Premier League or not. It's quite incredible what has been achieved, you could not make it up frankly, and if you did no-one would believe you, it's ridiculous really."