This time 3 years ago, Swansea were looking at the prospects of reaching the Promised Land - the Premier League was in touching distance. They rested in the play off places. A lottery, but a great place to be. They then committed football suicide. They loaned a striker - Stephen Dobbie to a rival team, coming up on the rails. The said Stephen Dobbie proved instrumental as Swansea wilted, and Blackpool stole the Swans thunder. Pipping them on the final day to a play off place.
The solace for the Jacks was Blackpool beat their arch rivals, Cardiff in the final to gain Premiership status.
Swansea learnt from their mistakes. Dobbie was given a new contract. An offer that could not be beaten by Blackpool, despite a £90 million windfall, pragmatism and caution dictated the funds were much needed for an £11 million dividend to one director. The biggest director payment in Premier League history.
Swansea made amends and the following year, Stephen Dobbie sent the Jacks into the Premiership. What could have followed could have been reckless abandon. Swansea could blow the lot. They could 'do a Portsmouth'. But no. They did not blow the cash on 'stellar' signings, but they invested. They announced a new training facility. They invested in their squad. They grew.
They survived - continuing to back their managers, to develop an attractive brand of football.... To be a 'breathe of fresh air.'
And so today, Swansea raise the Capital One Cup, they are comfortably in the Premier League. The future looks bright.
So lessons learned, and visions realised. Not 'day-to-day' running of a club. No refusal to develop training facilities - 'Squires Gate was good enough for Stanley Matthews' being the Blackpool mantra, well, North Pier used to be a 'pay-to-enter' exclusive pier for the gentry back in the day, but hey, times move on.
Let us put it this way. Swansea bought Michu. Blackpool bought Jim Beattie.
Congratulations to Huw Jenkins and all the Jacks tonight.