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Jason Levien : Under pressure in DC and the Swansea knock-on effect - Swansea City News

Jason Levien : Under pressure in DC and the Swansea knock-on effect
Tuesday, 20th Feb 2024 08:00 by Keith Haynes

Swansea City majority owner and DC United CEO and Co- owner Jason Levien is having to field more anger than he would like now his club in the USA capital has promoted the club in Saudi Arabia. That included a pre season in Saudi this month.

Only four months or so after the DC Supreme Court ruled ex employee Christopher Deubert‘s allegations of tax evasion as meritless you would have thought the current status quo in Levien’s life had returned. Affluent, successful with sporting interests across the globe. And it’s that desire to always be on the front foot that has caused his new problem - The DC United hardcore support. Some of us know, put your head above the parapet and people want to shoot you down.

The supporters groups connected to DC United have announced a four game protest against these Saudi links, and base this on the countries horrendous track record in human rights. Many DC fans believe that this is a move with an ulterior motive to get closer to Washington’s politicians and thereafter force a takeover of the club. This isn’t going down well. The groups involved are District Ultras, Rose Room Collective, 202 Unique and Buzzard Point Social. The MLS eastern conference season starts this week.

On Reddit a meltdown and a refusal to accept the links to Saudi started in December.

⚽️ Greetings ADM : Pack your bags ! But not everything in one bag; Saudis prefer if you split things up into smaller bags so that you can move it with less attention.

⚽️ RyvWorld : Instead of contributing to the whitewashing why don’t they instead reallocate those funds to not being shit and bringing in some actual talent.

⚽️ Level47Nice : Saudi take over coming soon. trying to get themselves close to politicians ?

⚽️ Crimsomjinxzero : What is Levien cooking ?

⚽️ KrustyKrabPizzaMan : D.C. oil lobbyists have to build relationships with the Saudis somehow.

DC Utd in Saudi Arabia

DC Utd fans aren’t as ‘American in their football mindset’ as some may think when it comes to football and knowledge. They seem very well organised and extremely volatile and very ready to take on the likes of Levien, and that’s now the plan. Starting this week. DC also announced new shirt sponsors with ‘Guidehouse’ who have a big footprint in the Middle East. Coincidence with what we have already read above ? This is Guidehouse’ very first sporting sponsorship. Ali Bokhari is the ‘Global Managed Services Leader’ at Guidehouse with more than thirty years of professional experience. He is an accomplished global services executive with expertise in outsourcing, managed services, delivery centre leadership and ‘global transformations’ This should concerns DC fans.

Numerous people have questioned the main decision making at the Swans in recent times. Well, Levien is on record as saying, "It's Steve (Kaplan) and I. We're the co-managing owners, it's the same as when we came in. We've committed as an ownership group, Steve and I continue to be the co-managing owners, so that hasn't changed at all." Kaplan has left the board but is very much aligned with Levien on all Swansea matters. That hasn’t changed despite claims to the contrary. The mysterious LLC fund in the USA is an area the club has steered away from. We still don’t know how much is in it, how much Chairman Andrew Coleman put in to get the top job at Swansea, who else is investing in the fund, nor even what Coleman and his mate Ken Gude are being paid. And no, I’m not knocking either of them. Gude comes from an incredible background with the ‘Center for American Progress’ and his interest in Islamophobia in the USA and writing on the matter is pretty revealing.

Ken Gude (right)

Some have said, oh we will see when the UK tax returns come out. No you won’t. Not a chance, good accountancy and certain detail is almost never revealed in tax returns. What a shame Swans fans are still sitting back and taking this ? And in any event if this Swansea LLC in the USA is being used for certain remuneration, you will never find out.

They don’t have to tell you, like they haven’t told you anything of note to date about this fund.

That Swansea City decision making by Jason Levien goes for DC Utd as well. Not sure ? Here’s what Jason said when he conveyed to Wayne Rooney he was sacked. "We have spoken with Wayne and agreed it is best for us to part ways at this time, This decision creates the avenue for our next general manager to have the full opportunity to impart a new philosophy and structure onto our sporting operations, which begins with the critical identification of a head coach who will best align with this” Doesn’t sound like a person who leaves decision making to others to me.

Then there’s Nigel Morris, why did he invest in the UK and not the USA when he invested around the same time as Andrew Coleman ? I mean the trust have a guarded percentage within their shares so none of this Swansea LLC investment was done to prevent shares being diluted even more. They can’t be as such. Too many questions remain unanswered.

With issues on all fronts within his sporting interests, and it’s very clear Jason Levien’s heart lies with DC United over everything else he has invested in. How can a decision maker, Co-owner and ‘investor’ in the Swans manage these situations as one person in the USA ? Yes he has advisors and his old pal Stephen Kaplan. However, with the Swans so far away and the huge drop in attendances this season, which in turn affects the clubs financial status seemingly off the agenda. What happens now ? A multi billion possibility from investing Saudi’s and a shirt sponsor that ‘manages’ company disruption and smooths pathways in global change which has earned them multi billions as well is ‘happening’ Or Swansea City ? Not in the same financial league and being run just to stay afloat, it all feels a bit like a credit card bill. We are running from month to month because they’ve curtailed any thoughts of promotion again this season. And when they did have the opportunity with both Steve Cooper and Russell Martin they chose to save a few quid (which in the long term cost them) and here we are today. Looking down and hoping.

If our club was ‘looked after’ as we are continually promised, there wouldn’t be any discontent from Swansea City fans. In fact the support wouldn’t be in such a rebellious mode as was seen post match on Saturday. The issue is of course the worse it gets the less the fans at Swansea do. This leaves the majority ownership feeling safe and of a mindset that the supporters don’t really care. And so the circle continues.

But not at DC United it seems.

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Thanks to the Athletic for inspiring us to research this current situation and report this today.

Photographs Jose L Argueta & Licensed through Reuters

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