Players Revolt

In 1927 the whole of Swansea Town first-team refused to sign new contracts after the directors tried to lower their wages by a pound a week and make up for it by a bonus scheme based on the number of games played.

The players said they were objecting to the financial harm they would suffer if they were injured. They also claimed they did not mind if they suffered financially through losing their first-team place because of form, although this was probably a sensible public statement to ensure they did not lose popular sympathy.

In an act of solidarity, the first-team players who the change did not affect, because they were already on lower wages, also refused to re-sign. The players seem to have chosen their moment carefully, making their decision the week before the club was due to leave for a tour of Portugal and Spain.

Yet, despite the strong position the players’ collective action put them in, they failed to secure what they wanted. The next day it was reported that many of players had signed, although it was unclear on what terms. By the following day only two players had not agreed terms.  The club had held out and won. Once some of the players had broken ranks and signed, the others were vulnerable and ultimately replaceable.

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Filed under 1920s, players

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