Respected Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has hailed Swansea City as the perfect model to follow.
Balague, who was at the Liberty recently to publicise his book Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning
, believes the Swans’ blueprint is one which clubs around Europe should aspire to replicate.
While the Swans have received huge praise for the style which has brought them huge success, Balague feels the philosophy and financial beliefs in place at the club are the two key aspects which deserve the real applause.
“The biggest thing Swansea have done is ask themselves, ‘What kind of club are we?’ and then they make their decision,” said Balague, who is a key fixture in Sky Sports' coverage of Spanish football, appearing regularly on their Revista de La Liga programme.
“It applies to the manager they pick and the players they buy.
“Even when things go wrong they stick by it, and that’s the admirable thing.
“Footballers see that too, and that is a big attraction for them.
“My club is Espanyol and this season after (Mauricio) Pochettino left to join Southampton, Javier Aguirre replaced him. It has gone well under Aguirre and people are saying this is the way forward.
“But next season maybe the quality is not the same because a few players leave and then people say this is not the way to go and we must change.
“It’s not good for the long-term vision of the club.
“But Swansea don’t think like that. The vision and philosophy remains the same, and Huw Jenkins deserves a lot of praise for that.
“The other thing that is so good about Swansea is that the money that comes in goes back into the club and the numbers are in the black. How many clubs can say that?
“The club is run very well, and every club should run it this way. But those clubs get too greedy and use money they don’t have – it’s not how you run a business.
“Swansea are a great example of how to run a football club.”
With the Swans set to venture into the Europa League next season, Balague will keep a keen eye on the progress of the club.
And he expects them to thrive on the continent.
“I would love to see Swansea playing a Spanish team in the Europa League next season. That would be a great match to watch,” he added.
“I think they will do well in the Europa League though.
“Swansea will need some clever signings for next season, and there are players who are coming to the end of their contract who could do a great job here.
“Their reputation has really grown since they got into the Premier League, but winning the cup has made the big difference. Obviously the interest is even bigger in Spain because Michael is there.
“If Swansea was in La Liga they would certainly be in the top ten. You can see the tactical cleverness in what they do.
“And I think that will serve them well in Europe next season.”
To purchase Guillem’s book Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning see his websitehttp://www.guillembalague.com