It's all change at Swindon Town

By Alfie Howlett - 22 July 2021


Swindon Link's football columnist delivers his verdict on STFC's ownership change

It's funny how much difference a day makes. 

On Monday evening the mood around Swindon was one of trepidation. Questions of whether there would be a football club to support next season were growing louder as the Clem Morfuni takeover appeared no closer. 

But as we headed towards Tuesday afternoon the news we all wanted to hear broke. Lee Power had finally transferred those shares. Swindon Town Football Club was in new ownership. After eight years of Lee Power running the club into the ground and almost taking it to the wall, an Australian millionaire plumber came in and saved the day. 

As he watched Town's first win of preseason at Supermarine with the fans it felt like a start of a new chapter for the club. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to go back up. 

After all the paperwork had been signed, Morfuni released his first statement as owner. It felt as if in one day he had already had trumped the last eight years when it came to the relationship between fans and owners, which was reflected in the words: "You've got your club back". In the statement Morfuni set out to install some direction into a club that had been so sorely lacking of any direction. He laid out aspirations for the championship and to have the best academy outside of the Premier League.

After doing this he wasted no time employing the people who he felt could help him achieve these goals. Firstly Ben Garner was appointed as the new Head Coach. He is a well respected coach in the game, having coached at Premier League academies. As well as this he was also mentored by one of footballs most successful managers, Jose Mourinho. 

Garner's only previous experience as a number 1 came at Bristol Rovers where he had a similar assignment to the one he has now - to work with and develop young players and bring a positive style of play to the County Ground. Although he brought down the average age of the squad at Rovers the results didn't follow. 

With just an 18 percent win ratio Garner lasted just 33 games. In my opinion it was an interesting appointment. Obviously with a transfer embargo in which Town will be using a lot of young players, then it makes sense to have a coach who is experienced in that field. I thought the club would go for a more experienced head who could look to consolidate the Robins' place in the Football League. 

However, with such a blank canvas to start from, Garner should have the perfect opportunity to sign some younger players and develop them, which is looking like the business model Morfuni is wanting to adapt. 

Whatever happens in terms of recruitment from now until 7 August I'm just happy I have a club to support. And I can't wait for this new chapter to begin! 

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