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The Hard Work Starts Today
Monday, 15th May 2017 08:05 by Planet Swans (follow us on Twitter @swansnews)

Yesterday may have been a day for celebration when our Premier League safety was confirmed for a 7th successive season but today there should be a plan that starts to be executed at the Liberty Stadium that makes sure we learn from the mistakes of the past.

When you look at the last two seasons and the relegations of Aston Villa and Sunderland then you see two teams slipping from the Premier League after many years of struggling and threatening to lose that place.

Villa finished 13th in the Championship this season and it is difficult to see Sunderland performing any different next time around given just how poor they have been not just this season but for several preceding.

Last season we got out of jail when it looks like we may head towards the trap door and this year it has taken one of the most remarkable turnarounds in fortune to retain our Premier League space when all the odds looked stacked against us when we had 12 points on the board at the turn of the year.

We can of course celebrate the fact that we did it but at no point should we rest on the laurels that it could create and we should immediately start executing the plan that ensures we do not make the same mistakes again.

When you look back at the last two seasons, we have had five managers (six if you include Curt), changed ownership to much anger and annoyance from the fans and bought a series of players that simply weren't good enough. We were saved this time around by what appears to be the right managerial decision in January and some good transfer moves that saw the likes of Martin Olsson, Tom Carroll and Jordan Ayew arrive at the Liberty to make such a big impact.

Despite our safety we are still a poor squad and I am sure this morning that Paul Clement knows what kind of player he wants to bring in during the summer. If he hasn't been told already he should be given his budget today and start work on it immediately. One thing we have learned from recent years is that the sooner you start work the better your pre-season will become.

Off the pitch, Premier League safety will now show us just how many commercial doors are there to be opened. We need to forget the small time discussions we have become famous for and look at bigger deals and close some of the gaps that exist commercially between us and other clubs. Nobody is ever going to be mad enough to believe we can compete with the big teams on this front but we should certainly be competing with those in our division and maximising the income that we have available to us.

There are decisions to be made off the pitch. Much discussion this season has been around the future of people who sold shares back last summer and that should be resolved. We have not been helped this season by off the field issues that have distracted from what has happened on the pitch. The decisions to focus on the playing side in January was the right one but I urge everyone with shares in the club to sit down and resolve off field issues now and not let them drag on during the summer. Any form of boardroom struggles will always impact on the playing side.

We also have to deal with the speculation that will link Gylfi to a move away from the club. He won't be alone but he is the biggest one and we have to resolve this quickly. If the offers are there and he wants to go then it may have to happen but back to the earlier point, the sooner these things are resolved, the clearer the pictures are in the manager's head that he knows what to do.

I really hope that we have our "top brass" heading into the club today and understanding these things because if we do them right we can ensure the good fortune of the last two seasons is built on and developed. If we do them wrong then we could become the next Aston Villa or Sunderland.

The hard work most definitely starts today

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