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Swansea City Association Football Club (Swansea City A.F.C.)

Swansea City Association Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Pêl-droed Dinas Abertawe) is a Welsh professional football club based in Swansea, Wales, that plays in the Premier League, the highest level of English football. Swansea City represent England when playing in European competitions, although they have represented Wales in the past. The club were founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921. The club changed their name in 1969, when they adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swansea's new status as a city.

Swansea have played their home matches at the Liberty Stadium since 2005, having previously played at the Vetch Field since the club were founded.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.

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". The club's subsequent climb from the fourth division of English football to the top division is chronicled in the 2014 film, Jack to a King – The Swansea Story. In 2011, Swansea were promoted to the Premier League. 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, where they reached the Last 32 stage but lost over two legs to SSC Napoli.

Before Swansea Town was established, children would play football on waste ground in which a plant, called "vetch" (a type of legume) was grown. The site was owned by Swansea Gaslight Company in 1912, but was deemed surplus to requirements at the Gas Company. So Swansea Town moved in when they were established in 1912. The ground originally held 12,000, but hit its peak attendance of 32,786 in an 1967 FA cup Fifth Round against Arsenal. The last league goal ever scored at the Vetch was scored by Adrian Forbes, on 30 April 2005, as Swansea beat Shrewsbury Town 1–0.

With a rapidly deteriorating Vetch Field, Swansea looked to relocate. As Swansea and the Ospreys did not have the capital to invest in a new stadium, the Swansea City 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 on the site of the Morfa Stadium, which the Council owned. 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 £50 million. On 23 July 2005, The Liberty Stadium was officially opened as Swansea faced Fulham in a friendly game.

The Liberty Stadium became Swansea City's home ground from 2005.The Liberty Stadium capacity was 20,532 though has been increased to 20,750[citation needed]. The highest attendance recorded at the stadium came against Arsenal on 31 October 2015 with 20,937 spectators, beating the previous record of 20,845. The stadium has also hosted three Welsh international football matches; the first being a 0–0 draw with Bulgaria in 2006,the second a 2–1 defeat to Georgia in 2008 and a 2–0 win over Switzerland on 7 October 2011.

The first international goal to be scored at the Liberty Stadium was a 25-yard effort from Welsh international Jason Koumas. On 1 July 2012, it was widely reported in national media that Swansea City were beginning the planning phase for expanding the Liberty Stadium by approximately 12,000 seats. This plan would be conditional on a successful second season in the Premier League and could cost up to £15 million; the increase would result in a capacity of approximately 32,000 seats. Later that same year, the board of directors announced that planning applications were to be put forward to the council authority, making the Liberty Stadium the largest sportsclub-owned stadium in Wales.

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 0–5 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, with 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 be conducted in two separate phases when the timing is right for the club.

On 1 December, Swansea picked up a 0–2 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 0–5 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 finished the season in ninth place in the Premier League, improving upon the league standing achieved in the previous season.

On 11 July, Swansea paid a club record transfer fee of £12 million to secure the signing of striker Wilfried Bony from Vitesse Arnhem; Bony was the leading goalscorer in the 2012–13 Eredivisie with 31 goals and was named Dutch Player of the Year.On 3 November 2013, Swansea City became the first team to lose a Welsh Premier League derby ever after losing 1–0 to Cardiff City. However, Swansea City went on to beat Cardiff City 3–0 at the Liberty Stadium on 8 February 2014. In February 2014, Laudrup was dismissed from the club. Defender Garry Monk, a Swansea player since 2004, was named as his replacement.

During the January 2015 transfer window, Wilfried Bony was sold to Manchester City for a record sale of £25 million, with add-ons that could lead to £28 million. This deal eclipsed the record fee received from Liverpool for Joe Allen, £15 million.Swansea City finished eighth in the Premier League at the end of the 2014–15 season with 56 points, their highest position and points haul for a Premier League season, and second highest finish in the top flight of all time. During the season, they produced league doubles over Arsenal and Manchester United, becoming only the third team in Premier League history to achieve that feat.

On 9 December 2015, Swansea City announced that they had parted ways with manager Garry Monk after one win in eleven matches. The club, after a period with Alan Curtis acting as caretaker manager for the third time, chose the Italian former Udinese Calcio coach Francesco Guidolin. During the 2016–17 preseason, Swansea City came under new ownership by an American consortium led by Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan, who bought a controlling interest in the club in July 2016.The takeover was confirmed by Swansea City, but chairman Huw Jenkins remained at the club. On 3 October 2016, Guidolin was sacked and replaced by American coach Bob Bradley as the club's new manager. The selection of Bradley marked the first time a Premier League club had ever hired an American manager.

Swansea City's first trophy was the Welsh Cup, which they won as Swansea Town in 1913. Their first league honour came in 1925, when they won the 1924–25 Football League Third Division South title. Since then Swansea have gone on to win the League Cup once, the Football League Trophy twice and the Welsh Cup a further nine times. They have also qualified for UEFA Cup Winners' Cup seven times and the UEFA Europa League once.

Wilfred Milne holds the record for Swansea appearances, having played 586 matches between 1920 and 1937, closely followed by Roger Freestone with 563 between 1991 and 2004.The player who has won the most international caps while at the club is Ashley Williams with 50 for Wales.[citation needed] The goalscoring record is held by Ivor Allchurch, with 166 goals, scored between 1947 and 1958 and between 1965 and 1968. Cyril Pearce holds the records for the most goals scored in a season, in 1931–32, with 35 league goals in the Second Division and 40 goals in total.

The club's widest victory margin in the league was 12–0, a scoreline which they achieved once in the European Cup Winners Cup, against Sliema in 1982.They have lost by an eight-goal margin on two occasions, once in the FA Cup, beaten 0–8 by Liverpool in 1990 and once in the European Cup Winners Cup, beaten 0–8 by AS Monaco in 1991. Swansea's home attendance record was set at the fourth-round FA Cup tie against Arsenal on 17 February 1968, with 32,796 fans attending the Vetch Field. The most expensive player bought was Borja Bastón, who joined from Atlético Madrid in August 2016 for a fee of £15 million. The most expensive sale is Wilfried Bony who joined Manchester City in January 2015 for £28 million.

Swansea City are currently in their sixth season in the top flight, and despite being drawn into a relegation battle this season they have coped remarkably well since gaining promotion in 2011. In the previous five seasons, the Swans have never finished lower than 12th in the table and have always managed to pick up the symbolic 40 points that mangers crave. This is made all the more remarkable by the fact this is Swansea's first spell in the Premier League, a position they gained via the play-offs. The Swans finished third in the Championship in 2011, four points behind second placed Norwich City and ahead of bitter rivals Cardiff City on goal difference.

The play-offs saw Brendan Rodgers side beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 over two legs after a goalless first leg at the City Ground. Before a Scott Sinclair hat-trick sent the Swans in to the Premier League after beating Reading 4-2.So with Bob Bradley's men currently battling to retain their Premier League status, we take a look back at the squad that guided Swansea into the promised land in 2011. The fortunes of Neil Taylor, Ashley Williams, and Joe Allen have been extensively covered,but what about the rest of the squad?

The Dutch goalkeeper was ever present during the promotion campaign and conceded just 42 goals across the season. De Vries was offered a new contract in the summer of 2011 but turned it down to join Wolves on a free transfer. But he made just 14 appearances for the midlands side across two seasons before leaving for Nottingham Forest. Last season, de Vries was first choice keeper for the first time in five seasons, and played 45 times for Forest, but the arrival of Serbian international Vladmir Stojkovic led to him joining Celtic this summer as reserve keeper.

The no-nonsense defender was part of the second stingiest defence in the league during the promotion campaign and will certainly be remembered fondly by Swansea fans. He remained on the books at the Liberty until 2015 but after promotion to the Premier League he was never really in first team plans. After a succession of loan spells, Tate has now retired from football and is now a coach with the Swans.

The Spanish full-back was already in his fourth season with the Swans when they gained promotion, and while he has become more of a peripheral figure in recent months, Rangel will go down as a Swansea City legend. After almost 350 appearances spread across 10 seasons, and including two promotions, Rangel signed a contract extension in the summer which will see him stay in South Wales until 2018.

It's been quite a five years for the former centre back. The promotion campaign was Monk's last season as a regular starter for Swansea City, as he made just 27 appearances in two seasons following the Swans rise to the Premier Leauge. But in early 2014 he hung up his boots and stepped into the Liberty dugout. An almost two-year spell in charge came to an end late last year as he was sacked with the side struggling in the league. Monk is now resurrecting his career, by trying to prove that the Leeds United job is not a poisoned chalice.

The Scottish forward played more than 40 times in the promotion campaign and was the second highest scorer with nine goals.But Dobbie never really kick on from his solid season and played only eight more times for the Swans. A series of loan spells failed to reignite his goal scoring form, but he is now playing for Queen of the South in the Scottish Championship and has scored 12 goals in 18 appearances this season.

The play-off final hat-trick hero lit up the Liberty in 2010-11, scoring 27 goals in all competitions. He followed it up with eight Premier League goals the following season and earned himself an £8 million move to Manchester City in 2012. But things didn't go to plan and after 19 appearances he was shipped out to Aston Villa. This season Sinclair has flourished since moving to Celtic, and has impressed with 10 goals in all competitions this season.

The midfielder played 34 times during the promotion season but turned down the offer of a new contract in the summer. He headed for Premier League Bolton Wanderers instead, and while he has impressed over his 150 appearances for the Trotters, his five seasons there have coincided with two relegations.

Like Pratley, Mark Gower was quietly effective in the Swans midfield. A fact that was borne out by his 20 appearances in Swansea's maiden Premier League season. However, Gower struggled to recapture his Championship form and was allowed to leave on a free transfer to Charlton in 2013. After a brief spell with the Addicks, Gower hung up his boots and is now a scout for Liverpool.

The Spanish winger shone briefly for the Swans, across his six seasons in South Wales.His 90 appearances yielded just three goals, but one of those was one of the quickest in Premier League history - just 25 seconds after kick-off against Wolves. He left Swansea in 2012 to join Brighton, but after two seasons on the south coast he was on the move again, this time spending a season with Blackpool. In 2015 he moved to Cyprus to play for Anorthosis, and this season made the move to Cypriot champions APOEL.

Beattie was often used a sub during the promotion campaign, and never really featured too heavily in the starting XI. Since leaving Swansea in 2012, Beattie has become a journeyman with numerous spells in Scotland at clubs including St Johnstone, Hearts and Ayr. He is now turning out for Edinburgh City in Scottish League Two.

NOTE : Information Retrieved from https://www.wikipedia.org