Swansea City shareholders locked in bitter dispute over 2016 takeover

A bitter legal dispute involving the ownership of Swansea City football club is threatening to cause disorder off the field for the Championship club.

The dispute relates to the club’s 2016 takeover in which Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien acquired a majority 68 per cent stake in the Welsh side.

The Supporters Trust emphasise that they were not included in negotiations, resulting in a potential breach of a shareholders agreement.

The Trust had arranged for all parties to attend mediation with the intention of negotiating a settlement in respect of the dispute of the shares sale.

Lawyers representing the selling shareholders have claimed that the Trust has withdrawn from the mediation on two occasions. However, the Trust firmly denies these accusations.

In a statement the selling shareholders legal representatives said: “We act on behalf of the Swansea City shareholders who sold the majority of their shares in the Club in 2016.

“We are surprised and extremely disappointed to have received notification from the Swansea Supporters Trust’s lawyers today that neither they nor the Trust wishes to attend the mediation which had previously been proposed to take place later this month.

“Dates for the mediation had been agreed with the Trust and we had full authority from all of our clients to attend the mediation and resolve the dispute that exists between the parties.

“The selling shareholders are strong in their belief that they are in no way liable to the Trust for the circumstances surrounding the sale of their shares but continue to be saddened that the issues between them and the Trust remain unresolved and the club tragically continues to be damaged in the process.’”

Following the failures in attempts to resolve the situation through mediation, it is a possibility that there may ultimately be a need for legal proceedings with the purpose of resolving the matter and creating a more stable future for the club.

For expert advice regarding any aspect of sport’s law please contact Mohit Pasricha today. Alternatively for specialist advice regarding disputes and litigation please contact James Atton.

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Mohit Pasricha

Mohit Pasricha

Solicitor at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Mohit is a solicitor and Head of Sports Law at Mackrell Turner Garrett, advising and representing clients within the sports sector by providing specialist advice on a wide range of commercial, corporate and intellectual property matters. His clients include clubs, commercial sponsors, sports agents, and individual sporting professionals.