Have Swansea Breached Good Faith With Leeds, Are They in Breach of Contract with Dan James? – by Rob Atkinson


Dan James – still, unaccountably, a Swansea player. But not a very happy one.

It was a very, very odd transfer deadline day, even by the bizarre standards of Leeds United. As most will by now know, the seemingly nailed-on transfer of Daniel James to Elland Road from Swansea City fell through – literally at the last minute. On this occasion, it sounds like it’s not the player’s fault, nor that of Leeds – instead, it would appear that this is all down to Swansea backtracking at the last minute. That seems very unprofessional, if it’s true. And, although some Swansea fans will be dancing with glee, or at least trying to hide their embarrassment, they may well now have themselves an unhappy and hostile player on their hands. It sounds as though Daniel James, having travelled up to his native Yorkshire, passed his medical and then having to hang around Elland Road for five hours, waiting to be announced as a Leeds United player, is anything but happy. 

Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post summed up in a few succinct tweets some VERY strange behaviour from Swansea City: “Essentially, deal was agreed, James passed his medical, was sat at Elland Road from about 6pm waiting to be unveiled and Swansea went quiet. Stopped responding to contact and 11pm went by. No deal sheet in with the EFL so as far as this window is concerned, James to Leeds United isn’t happening. A very awkward situation for James who told Swansea that he wanted to leave and take the move. Leeds might revisit this in the summer but that’s for another day. Big frustration to have missed out on him”.

It’s early days after a very strange evening – but there are all sorts of possibilities here. Have Swansea acted “in good faith” towards a fellow EFL club – or indeed to their own player? Does Dan James have a case to claim that Swansea are in breach of the contract between them? There will be lots more to come on this but, as it stands, Swansea seem to be bang to rights on deeply unprofessional conduct, possibly even, given their head in the sand refusal to respond to all contact from Leeds after 6pm, maladministration. Surely, at the very least, Leeds United should be making an official complaint.

It’s going to be an interesting next few days, to be sure. And, let’s not forget, Swansea City are due at Elland Road shortly. Just how will Daniel James feel about that particular match?

28 responses to “Have Swansea Breached Good Faith With Leeds, Are They in Breach of Contract with Dan James? – by Rob Atkinson

  1. It’s Ortas fault for leaving it till the last minute.


  2. 1955southwesterly

    My word is my bond, oh unless it’s Swansea apparently.
    What a thing to do to your own player though. Breach of contract? Would love that , becomes a free agent ,walks and joins for nothing….if only


  3. NickB(50yrsLU)

    If this were a one-off, I’d say it was sabotage from Swansea, but ever since the arrival of Orta & Radrizzani we’ve been promised all sorts of transfer deals throughout windows, and mostly they end like this. Who is it that said Swansea stopped responding after 6.00pm? Orta? Is Orta principally responsible to Bielsa or Radrizzani? We know Radrizzani’s media companies are in trouble; I hope to goodness he’s not able to channel funds from Leeds United to bale out his failing ventures. It really is a farce: Orta comes to Bielsa and says to pick someone from a list of targets; Bielsa spends ages in his OCD way analysing each player and identifies the outstanding one; then, nothing! Result: Humiliation for Bielsa. The only scrap of good I take from this latest let-down is that, when we are promoted as champions, Bielsa’s achievement will be seen as utterly remarkable and historic, with mainly Monk’s team and a clutch of kids. Radrizzani had better strengthen properly when we do go up or he’ll soon be regarded as our very own Mike Ashley! He can’t afford to upset the man who has made the dream start to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was Phil Hay that said Swansea went quiet after 6pm, having previously stated that he’d been aware for a while there were some people down there who were against the deal. Politics down there, he said. I trust Phil Hay.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Adam Edwards

    Swans fan here.
    Yes, this is a farce, I couldnt agree more. What needs to be understood though is that our club is being dismantled by our American ‘hedge fund’ owners.
    Something happened late yesterday evening within the confines of our club and put a halt to the transfers of James and Fer, possibly the gaffer piped up, or the former owner and now minority-owning shareholder Jenkins who f****d everything up by selling to the yanks.

    We the fans are distraught. Keeping DJ in this manner is embarrasing. It’s inevitable what the summer is going to bring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy to know that Leeds acted properly in this, the less said about Swansea’s conduct the better. Leeds United will be ok. My concern here is for Daniel James who, in my opinion, has been treated disgracefully by his club. To let him undergo a medical and then leave him hanging for hours is not only deeply unprofessional, but literally cruel. I really do wonder if the lad might have a case against Swansea for breach of contract under the implied duty of trust and care provisions that are implicit in any contract of employment. Very, very poor from Swansea City. I will say though that it’s good to see that we have here a Swansea fan who can see beyond petty point-scoring to the actual travesty of conduct that City are bang to rights for.


  5. I just don’t see how anyone can blame Radz and Orta, it would appear that we’ve been after him all month, only for Swansea to pull the plug 5 hours early and not tell anyone, Radz has tweeted he would have got the lad on 1st Jan if he could. Do, it boils down to Swansea behaving dishonourably, wonder what the FL will have to say about it, FA probably 😊


  6. Tony Chadwick

    Could be a sneaky pay back for spying on all our opposition But what a way to do business and to treat your players Totally unproffesional I hope they are proud of themselves They will get theres Karma really does happen


  7. John Bennett

    Swansea did what they did for their own reasons and will be judged by folk accordingly- but all talk of sanctions and rule breaking seems OTT to me (sound familiar?) – the real “crime” here is treating James with such casual indifference and if I was any other player at that club I would be questioning just how I might be treated myself in the future.- trust must have gone?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think it’s fairly obvious that as soons as Swans got Bony off their books, there was no need for them to sell Fer or James anymore. Personally I’m not too bothered about us missing out on James. Too big of an investment for a player with what, like 20 senior apps? Perhaps not for all Championship clubs, but for us it surely is.

    However, what does bother me is how public all this got, and not for the first time. Someone at Leeds needs to shut his big, gaping piehole-it’s hurting the club’s position in the transfermarket.

    Ps. I wouldn’t blame this on Orta at all. When you don’t have the financial mean to compete with the big boys, one needs to be a tad “creative” wit this stuff (see Levy & Tottenham). You win some, you lose some.


  9. Uncle Dave

    Imagine ( just for example ) If Leeds had let Clarke have a medical at one of the premier league clubs and agreed in principle to sell, or even loan him? only to pull out at ( ironically ) the ‘ eleventh ‘ hour? The powers that be would have a field day, rubbing their hands together and dreaming up a punishment to dish out to us. Probably deduct 50 points and give them to Fwank Lampost.


  10. I wish I could say I was not expecting this!
    The lateness of our negotiations by the Chuckle brothers,
    Radz & Victor, and Swansea’s ‘reluctance’ to sell, was a worry.
    It sounds like Swansea panicked, due to fan and media pressure?
    I think there are grounds to sue Swansea, and for FL & FA ‘action’.
    Swansea are strapped for cash, so hit them hard!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is vintage ‘Ken Bates’.
    They want £10 million and we offer £750,000, with the balance in instalments, IF we get promoted.
    No surprise it fell through!!


    • But Swansea obviously agreed to the terms, or the lad wouldn’t have had a medical. Business is business, and it relies on good faith, a quality conspicuously lacking in that part of South Wales.


  12. Life is LUFC

    My real concern is for the young lad in all this. I just hope to god he has a strong enough mentality to put all this behind him and put it down to one of life’s experiences.
    I cannot even begin to think how he must have felt as the time ticked slowly by. To have a bunch of so called grown ups (Swansea end) who are responsible for nurturing your early life ambitions and then they can mess up your life in just a couple of hours is despicable and all for £££££££’s.
    Not only him either there is the other lad, Fer as well.
    Now he is faced with “do I do something here re showing this bunch of so called grown ups not to mess with my life and possibly ruin my football career, or just put up and shut up and salvage what I can out of all this mess”. My advice for what it is worth lad…..be counselled wisely by someone you can really trust and do not act in haste.


    • Hopefully the agents will look after them as their club seems unable or unwilling to. I agree totally, the players are the victims, much more so than Leeds United or its fans. I strongly believe that Daniel James should be raising a grievance with the PFA in the first instance, over the cavalier manner of his treatment by Swansea.


  13. Philip of Spain.

    The Swansea board reacted to the absolute deluge of stick they got from,fans,ex players and the media for letting the top players go!!They are a disgrace.The big loser in all of this is the young kid who must be devastated. McBurnie wants to have a word with himself,especially after his childish tweets.Professional footballer who didn’t want anything to do with Leeds,I wish Big Jack was back marking him in the home game in a couple of weeks.


  14. Chris Wheeler

    As you said Rob truly bizarre even by our standards! Though all of the fault seems to lie well and truly with Swansea despite some nonsense being touted about us trying to change the payment structure which was well and truly rubbished by Andreas very open tweet.
    Good Faith, common decency, respect & integrity are all behaviours Swansea have simply stuck 2 fingers up to and on the end of all this must be an incredibly upset demotivated Dan James. Incredible that we simply couldn’t make contact with any of their club officials which displays incredible ignorance & cowardice to not simply tell us they’d changed their minds. I think it was simply tactical as they had a number of deals on the go two of which to Villa & WBA both went through at the 11th hour enabling them to pull the plug on the James deal!
    From James point of view at the very least I think he has a very strong case to take out a formal grievance against his employer on some form of employment contract law and maybe involve the PFA.
    From Swansea’s viewpoint they now have one very demotivated player who will likely leave in the summer for a much lower fee.
    Imagine the furore if Leeds had treated Samu Saiz in the same way over his transfer request.
    One positive from all this is that Marcelo won’t have let any of this affect his close knit squad full of natural leaders like Pontus, Liam & Pablo and if anything that great Leeds siege mentality will have only intensified. A hostile reception awaits Norwich ( EFL 11 instigators) and fingers crossed a display and result to make yesterday’s unfortunate events fade away.
    No matter what Marcelo will also back his squad and never seek any kind of excuse whatever the outcome of any game, “snow on the pitch” this week comes to mind 😭
    I do still think we lack that final third cutting edge and clinical finishing but hope & pray Marcelo’s magic can get us over the line combined with Patrick & Izzy returning to full fitness to make a big impact.
    Good luck to Dan James as well for his eventual escape from Swansea and you never know he may yet get his dream move.


  15. king sniffer

    Feel sorry for the lad. Just hope he doesn’t get any stick when he comes back to Elland Road; he did act in good faith and was treated disgustingly. Surely though, if Swansea have any regard for him, they won’t even chance this by keeping him out of the squad on 13th February.


    • I can imagine the Elland Road crowd singing “There’s only one Dan James” plus “You’re Leeds and you know you are” – until he sticks one past Kiko, anyway.


      • I’m hoping that it’s McTweeter that gets all the stick, although, I have a feeling that he might just get one of those “mystery” injuries 😉


  16. It’s a shame for the lad as he obviously wanted the move .
    It puts the Swansea manager in a difficult position also. Swansea could have handled this loads better and used the money to strengthen their squad if they had used a bit of common sense.
    Just glad Clarke is still with us after a lot of click bait blah regarding him going to Palce or the spuds etc.
    Ho hum. A cracking game on the cards tomorrow. I’ve no gripe with Norwich. They play an attacking game and keep going the full 90 just like Leeds.
    Another home performance like the Derby game and we’ll be fine.


  17. What a mess. Why us?. One side of me is saying get a grip, we have gained nothing and lost nothing. Are we so tied up in our own club that we don’t realise that this is going on elsewhere. It’s very, very hard to be optimistic or confident at Leeds because we are worn down to the bone with disappointment and let downs. I would chant young James name when Swansea come to ER and I would applaud a goal from him as long as we win. Let’s get promotion and get absolutely anebriated on the biggest adrenaline shot ever. MOT


  18. Nick Coley

    Hello Rob, I am a long term (old!)Leeds supporter who is also old enough not to take too much notice of much of the rubbish written online by various journalists and even some of our support . However following our defeat to Norwich there seems to have been a long list of people who can’t wait to put the boot in . My eye was drawn to a headline stating “Chelsea legend criticises Leeds style of play”. Upon further inspection this turned out to be none other than the great Tony Cascarino. How the term legend could be used in connection with a player of such limited ability is beyond me but his comments pissed me off as he suggested Leeds would be torn apart in the premier league playing as they are this season. Leeds have played at times some superb football this season that would flourish in any league . How the likes of Cascarino think they know better than Bielsa is beyond me . I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be irritated by an idiot such as Tony C but it did get to me coming after such an important game. Let’s hope the team bounce back and prove some of these idiots wrong. Keep the LUFC blogs going, they are always an entertaining read. Cheers Nick Coley

    Sent from my iPad



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