By David Williams
Russell Martin may well be sacked by Swansea City’s owners– or decide to quit the club – according to their former Wales striker Ian Walsh.
The Swans crashed to a 4-3 defeat at home to Birmingham City on Saturday, which followed a disastrously lopsided transfer window, prompting Walsh to launch a blistering attack on owners Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan.
Head coach Martin admitted he had “never felt as low” after the end of a week in which he had suggested the responsibility for the club failing to bring in a single new player in January – but letting six leave – lay with the American owners and not those working in Swansea.
In response, Levien said in an interview with the Supporters Trust that the problem was a “failure in execution”, suggesting the blame should lay with chief executive Julian Winter, Martin and their recruitment staff.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if the manager gets sacked for that, because he is showing something that the American won’t like,” said Walsh in his role as a pundit for BBC Radio Wales.
“This manager could also actually walk now, just like Steve Cooper walked. Cooper walked because he was given no help to improve the side. It’s exactly the same thing now.
“Ridiculous things have happened this month. The way things have been handled has been pathetic.
“In terms of blame, it is all down to the American owners. They have to step up now, come out and tell everybody what are their plans for this football club.
“The owners are absolutely pathetic. They have said when they came in, they didn’t realise how bad it was. But any businessman knows that you do all your due diligence checks, and checks behind the scenes and if it wasn’t right then you don’t buy the club.
“But once they bought the club, they have tried to protect themselves. It would be a good question to the American owners to ask if the 28 different investors have had their money back.
“That would be a big question for me.I said from the start – and I’ve said it for years – they are no good for this football club.”
Two late goals capped an incredible comeback by Birmingham as they snatched a dramatic win.
Hidden in that celebration is Auston Trusty, after his stoppage time winner gave Birmingham City a 4-3 win over Swansea to end a 5 game losing streak in the Championship.It’s Trusty’s 4th of the season pic.twitter.com/Iok4vSNh7d
— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) February 4, 2023
American centre-back Austin Trusty was the hero, glancing in a header off a Hannibal Mejbri corner to leave home fans at the Swansea.com Stadium in disbelief.
Going into the last minute of normal time the Swans appeared to be cruising to three points after dominating most of the match.
A 57th-minute goal from Dutch striker Joel Piroe had put them into a 3-2 lead, but that margin flattered the Blues who had been largely dismal up to that point.
But Swansea paid the price for not killing off the game.
Veteran striker Lukas Jutkiewicz came off the bench to start the mayhem in the 90th minute.
@robphillipshere @BBCRadioWales THAT Ian Walsh rant regarding the owners should be taken as a message to ALL clubs who desire foreign ownership with the promise of cash. Especially with silent owners who remain tight lipped. Come out. Talk to the press. Be open and be honest.
— Dan Perkins (@officialPerky) February 4, 2023
The well-travelled 33-year-old’s diving header from a Maxime Colin cross looked as though it had earned John Eustace’s men a share of the points and arrested a run of five successive league defeats.
But it got even better for the visiting fans. Deep into added time, and with Swansea down to 10 men having used all of their allocated substitutions before Joel Latibeaudiere limped off, Austin rose highest at a set-piece to spark delirium among the travelling fans.
Martin admitted: “I’ve not felt as low as this to be honest. I’ve tried to be honest with everyone which has probably made some people unhappy.
“I’ve had a lack of sleep and I’m concerned for a lot of people. It’s been a really long 72 hours with what has gone on. We should have been out of sight and we paid for that lack of a clinical edge.”