Swansea City’s American owners Stephen Kaplan and Jason Levien admit the club may lost its “unique identity” following their relegation to the Championship on Sunday.
The Swans came into the final day needing a win and a 10-goal swing with Southampton to survive relegation but the great escape never even came close to materialising.
Kaplan and Levein, who did not attend the 2-1 loss to Stoke at the Liberty Stadium, released a statement on Swansea’s website hours after their relegation was confirmed.
The statement read: “This is a testing time for any football club, when its dreams and ambitions have been shattered and it is facing the harsh reality of life outside the Premier League for the first time in many years.
“Nobody at Swansea City is making excuses, least of all ourselves. You can always point to injuries, suspensions, refereeing decisions that might have gone the other way, the rub of the green or plain bad luck.
“But the fact is, the club has been relegated because we simply weren’t good enough over 38 games in probably the most brutal professional sports league in the world. The Premier League is unforgiving if you fall below its high standards.
“There have certainly been mistakes along the way and it is down to the owners to shoulder much of that responsibility.
“Our recruitment strategy hasn’t been good enough, we all recognise that and the blame for it ultimately rests with ourselves. But we are taking steps to rectify that and we will be bringing additional resources to that department during the summer in a bid to change and strengthen the way we operate.
Carlos Carvalhal defended his record as Swansea manager after his side's relegation was confirmed from the Premier League after a 2-1 defeat at home to Stoke City
“Now, though, is not the time for rash statements or empty promises. We believe this is a time for everybody to pull together even through the heartbreak and bitter disappointment of relegation.
“We know this club has not been truly unified off the pitch for a while even though the supporters who come to the matches home and away have been magnificent and gave everything in a bid to inspire the team. We cannot thank or praise them enough.
“As owners, our commitment is total and the determination to regain Premier League status is our only focus. At the moment, it may be hard to come to terms with – but with fans, players and staff united in a common cause, we have to believe a return will be swift. Without that unity, we have very little chance.
“We recognise the huge role the club plays in the community and its importance.
“Perhaps the club has lost its unique identity, the special essence that made Swansea City different – better, in many ways – and we need to rediscover that identity both on the pitch and off it if we are to make the community proud of this football club again.
“And take it back to the Premier League where we all know it belongs.”
Carlos Carvalhal passionately defended his record as Swansea boss and revealed he is “happy” with talks thus far about his future.
Kaplan and Levein did not comment on Carvalhal’s future or their continued ownership of the club.