Swansea confirm manager Steve Cooper has quit just weeks before the start of the new Championship season… with former England U17s boss admitting ‘it feels like a good time for all parties to make a change’
- Steve Cooper has mutually agreed to terminate his contract as Swansea boss
- The 41-year-old steps down as their manager just weeks before the season starts
- Cooper is said to have decided to leave over concerns about the future direction
- The club hope to appoint his successor ahead of Blackburn clash on August 8
Swansea have announced the departure of head coach Steve Cooper.
The Sky Bet Championship club said Cooper, who had a year left on his contract, had opted to leave the Liberty Stadium.
A statement on the Swans’ official website read: ‘Swansea City can confirm that head coach Steve Cooper has decided to leave the club.
‘Cooper had 12 months remaining on the three-year deal he signed upon arriving at the Liberty Stadium in the summer of 2019.
‘Despite efforts by the club to enter dialogue with regards to a contract extension, it was subsequently agreed by both parties to mutually part ways ahead of the 2021-22 season.’
Cooper, who guided England Under-17s to World Cup glory in 2017, led Swansea to consecutive top-six finishes in the Championship.
They lost in the play-off semi-finals in 2020 to Brentford, who beat the Swans again in last season’s play-off final at Wembley.
Cooper added: ‘I’m very proud of what we have achieved over the past two seasons, especially getting to the play-off final, but it feels like a good time for all parties to make a change.
‘It is a fantastic club, with incredible supporters and I’m very grateful to them, to the players and all the staff for making me so welcome here. I wish the team every success for the future.’
Swansea chief executive Julian Winter said the decision ‘was reached amicably two weeks ago’.
Winter added: ‘Just like the playing squad, when a manager has 12 months left on a contract, there has to be a coherent plan that allows the club to continue to build both on and off the pitch, and that involves dialogue around contracts.
‘We felt as a club that the situation needed clarity and with a new season edging closer, the mutual nature of this decision allows both parties a chance to look forward.
‘I would like to take this opportunity to wish Steve the best of luck for the future and thank him for the work he has done during his two years with the football club.’
Cooper is said to have wanted more cash for transfers in order to bolster his squad this summer, but with his budget expected to be minimal once again he has decided the time is right to walk away.
He managed to keep Swansea in the promotion mix in each of his seasons in charge despite losing a number of key players, including Joe Rodon, Oliver McBurnie and Daniel James.
The Athletic report Cooper’s relationship with a number of key figures at the club had been strained for some time and that there was a sense he would be keen to take up a new position elsewhere amid significant interest.
Cooper had been on the shortlist for the Crystal Palace and Fulham vacancies, but didn’t end up fielding offers from either side.
The former England Under-17s manager was in charge for Swansea’s pre-season friendly win over Plymouth on Tuesday night and refused to be drawn on talk of his future afterwards.
‘I think if there is any real news that’s when we would speak,’ he told BBC Sport Wales.
‘There’s no official updates on anything. You know I don’t like talking about myself so let’s focus on the boys.
‘I am here, I am working hard. Day by day, that’s how it is. I have always been that way. I have not paid attention to anything else.
‘If there’s anything really official to talk about me, we’ll talk about it then but there’s not so we’ll leave it at that.’
Swansea will now begin their search for a new manager and plan to make a swift appointment ahead of their season opener against Blackburn Rovers on August 7.
Swansea hope to appoint a new boss before the season opener against Blackburn on August 7