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Mark Allen leaving : Is it budgets or ability ? It can’t be anything else.
Monday, 25th Apr 2022 15:53 by Keith Haynes

The decision for Swansea City to ‘ move on’ sporting director Mark Allen on Friday seemed to be a bolt out of the blue for him and for many Swansea City supporters who hold an interest in the behind the scenes functioning of the club. The question has to be why would this happen with so much progress allegedly being made ?

With nobody in the recruitment role which Mark Allen referenced when Andy Scott left five months ago quite clearly stating “ I think the recruitment part of it is only part of an overall review of the structure and trying to establish what I think is required in the whole football arena moving forward. There are a number of roles that you'll see out there now. One is head of performance. That role will effectively come in and look after the science and medical operation from top to bottom and they'll be the fundamental driver around player performance. The second is head of analysis. This person will be a part of my strategic team and look after the integration of first team and academy from an analysis perspective."

Okay, that’s fair enough, but that doesn’t really explain who is now in the recruitment role at the club and doesn’t mention his own role as sporting director.

He went on "The next part of the jigsaw is the recruitment arm. We're embarking on a restructure of that with Andy Scott deciding to move on. That area will be split into two distinct roles. One will be as a chief scout. That person's role will be responsible for talent ID. Whether that be first-team players, under-23s or under-18s, that person will be driving the scouting arena, identifying talent, making recommendations and reports into the club with a view to future signings, whether that be loan or permanent.

Right, so that’s a scout who in days gone by is solely responsible for identifying talent. But still doesn’t clear up the recruitment and sporting director role. Yes, a scout is a part of the recruitment process, but who is he or she reporting to ?

"The other arm is what I call player acquisition continued Allen. “That's more of a relationship and management role that will be closely aligned and dealing with other clubs, agents, suppliers and departments, and will oversee the acquisition of a player once the ID part has been completed. Both of those roles will come directly in to me."

Ah, okay so that sounds like Mark Allen is in charge of the old Andy Scott role and the sporting director role. So where did Russell Martin fit in ?

"With recruitment, we will sit down early doors having established the profile of the type of players who will likely be a good fit for Swansea City. We will then sit down with Russell and come up with a number of targets who have been identified. Russell and I and his team will sit down with the head of player acquisition and fine tune that. We'll come up with an ideal list and probably rank that in terms of preference one, two and three, knowing that all three can play in Swansea's system and knowing that Russell would be happy with any of those three. He of course will have a preference like we all will, but confident in the fact that that's where our recruitment will be and it will be updated dialogue then."

It’s pretty clear that Mark Allen had taken over two roles and amalgamated them in to one utilising the preferences of Russell Martin, his coaching team and the chief scout. It all sounds right and proper, but of course today the swans now have no recruitment role or sporting director role. There will be a few folk out there who will say these are just made up roles, a sort of jobs for the boys. Especially when swans CEO Julian Winter has some form of experience in these roles as well. That’s two salaries in the region of half a million pounds a year combined that no longer come out of the coffers at the club.

We made a few inquiries and it seems that the discontent with Allen was apparent within the confines of the club some months ago, especially as the January transfer window didn’t go as expected. If that’s the case and Swansea City were unhappy with Allen then he would have known that as well. As we know in industry if you are not performing to the the expectations of the role you are in you have development meetings with the boss, warnings if required are issued and progress is monitored. Surely Swansea City didn’t just turn up on Friday morning and say “Oh by the way Mark, bye” it’s inconceivable he didn’t know he was on some form of borrowed time or development plan instigated by Julian Winter.

We have been told Winter will make some form of comment shortly, whenever that is, as Mark Allen’s leaving is irreversible. Apparently a few loose ends need tidying up.

The other issue we asked about is budgets. Was Mark Allen content he could work within the financial framework or was he pushing the boundaries ? Is it him or the club who may see sales of the more promising Swansea players as a way of achieving the goals set for the summer ? When we say boundaries do we believe that Mark Allen was working his role outside of his jurisdiction ? Was he contacting agents regards players, one is Ethan Ampadu who won’t come cheap in any form, and making some form of deal without consultation ? Then of course is it the club who are pushing sales of players and Mark Allen didn’t want any part of that as it reflected badly on his role as sporting director ?

When you ask questions like this and the silence is deafening you get the feeling there’s going to be some form of non disclosure from both sides, and that’s what we do know. That is being worked out. Swansea won’t want Allen talking about the reasons for his leaving and he won’t want the swans to do the same. Our view is that whatever it is that has happened over recent months we may well never know. But its not speculation that the conflict between Winter and Allen has resulted in Allen leaving. Be that Winter’s own inquiries with these agents Allen spoke of causing concern, Russell Martin not being happy or even Allen as we have said not trusting the club to hold on to players thus leaving him as some form of scapegoat ?

Mark Allen came to Swansea with an impressive CV

Swansea City now have nobody at the helm of recruitment and sporting director roles. Are we to assume Julian Winter is now going to step up and do three roles now ? Including his own ? Whatever it is Swansea City need to get this sorted, this is the most important summer recruitment campaign in many years. It has to be right, for the club, fans and indeed Russell Martin because at the moment he has a get out too. If it goes wrong he can easily point to this upheaval behind the scenes we have witnessed in recent times.

If I was Russell I would be making copious notes of the way this is all panning out, because above all if this all falls on it’s face he will be out of a job as well. So come on Mr Winter let’s hear it, what is going on at Swansea City ?

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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Freelander added 19:07 - Apr 25
Yes I will not trust them two who own out club Levin and Kaplan I think Winter is taken his orders from them regarding investment into the club and just like Our former manager Cooper got out knowing there was going to be very little money coming in for new players and now look were he has taken Nottingham forest from the bottom of the championship to the play offs Cooper is good in doing things like that and come the summer I can see the club selling our best players that is how them two American,s work anything not to put thyere own money into the club there is only one club them two have interest in and that is the club they own in DC United nothing is to good for that club.

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