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Swansea City’s Summer Of Upheaval, As Trevor Birch Follows Leon Britton, Leads To . . . A Winter’s Tale

By David Williams

New Swansea City chief executive Julian Winter has pledged to bring success to Swansea City after the change in structure brought on by the departure of chairman Trevor Birch.

The Swans have opted to create a chief executive officer role in the wake of Birch’s departure, suggesting a tighter element of direct control by the club’s American owners.

With Birch opting to leave to join Tottenham Hotspur – where he becomes director of football operations – Swansea have appointed Winter in the new position of CEO and the 54-year-old will take up his post later this month.

He arrives at the Liberty Stadium having spent four seasons as Huddersfield’s chief executive.

It’s another change at the Liberty Stadium in a summer of upheaval where they have lost their chairman in Birch, former sporting director and playing legend Leon Britton, and their former head of media and communications Jonathan Wilsher.

Swansea hailed the former Watford, Sheffield United and Notts County chief executive Winter’s experience as crucial ahead of his arrival in south Wales.

“We are pleased to welcome Julian as the club’s new chief executive,” read a club statement.

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“As part of the appointment process we received significant positive input from many constituencies within the club and those who have worked with him at his prior clubs.

“His extensive industry experience and collaborative leadership style will be a valued addition as we embark on this next chapter.”

Birch stepped down as Swansea chairman on Tuesday, and was quickly installed as Tottenham’s new director of football operations.

Winter said he is now looking forward to getting started at Swansea.

“I’m obviously delighted to have been selected as the new CEO at Swansea City,” said Winter.

“I look forward to getting started at the club on a day-to-day basis, meeting the staff across the club and helping lead Swansea to a successful future on and off the field.”

Winter brings wide experience in football from a number of executive roles, including at Watford where he was chief executive during the managerial span of former Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers as well as their controversial former Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay.

The Scot was manager at Vicarage Road between 2009 and 2011 before he joined Cardiff, the club where he became embroiled in a dispute with owner Vincent Tan that led to the leaking of racist and homophobic text messages for which Mackay later apologised.


A Huddersfield Town midfield player between 1984 and 1989, making 103 senior appearances and scoring five goals, Winter played on loan for Scunthorpe before signing for Sheffield United, where he suffered a career-ending injury.

A graduate of Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Leisure and Recreation Management, Winter worked briefly for Grimsby before joining Watford in April 2006 as community director.

At Vicarage Road, he oversaw their award-winning Community Sports & Education Trust, before moving to become deputy CEO for the Hornets.

He was appointed their chief executive in 2008 and left three years later when new owners took charge at Watford.

In September 2011, Winter became chief executive of Sheffield United before departing  Bramall Lane in 2013.

Having worked at Notts County, Winter joined Huddersfield in March 2016 and spent four seasons as chief executive and helped guide the Terriers to Premier League promotion under former boss David Wagner.


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