Chairman Mike Garlick reflects on a whirlwind summer and looks forward to being back on the world stageGood afternoon everyone and welcome back to Turf Moor for the star of another Premier league adventure.
Time has certainly flown since the elation of promotion and winning the Championship title at Charlton on the final day.
Since then, we have been preparing to welcome the world back here on a result basis!
The growth of the Premier league, even since we last graced the top flight, is nothing short of astonishing.
I’m told there are now only three countries in the world that don’t take coverage of what is surely the biggest league going.
The Premier league is beamed by over 80 international broadcast partners into 730 million homes across the globe.
Key international markets include North America, South Africa, India, China and the Far East.
And with that huge swathe of coverage comes a responsibility to promote our club the best we can.
From our two previous seasons in the Premier League we have earned a reputation of being a welcoming, friendly and open club and I think we will only enhance that reputation in the coming weeks and months.
We’ve also earned many friends for our on-field behaviour - and it was a privilege and a pleasure to be invited to Wembley Stadium for last weekend’s FA Community Shield to accept the Fair Play award for the 2015/16 Championship season.
I think it is a testament to Sean, his staff and the conduct of our players that this is the second time in three seasons we have won that particular honour.
And even during the Premier League season sandwiched inbetween, we were again in contention for the Fair Play award.
Clearly, we have the utmost respect for opponents and officials and that is something I am particularly proud of, as we all should be.
In terms of our summer recruitment, and on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our three summer signings, Nick Pope, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jon Flanagan.
All three were immediate targets and I am delighted that they will be with us on the journey. We wish them every success in their careers here.
We remain active in the market as we continue to look to add to our numbers before the month is out.
I remain hopeful we can conclude some business in what is a very challenging market.
Finally, it’s my pleasure to welcome all the officials from Swansea City. Today’s opponents are, in some ways a benchmark for what can be achieved in building a club.
It is not too long ago that their very existence was in doubt, but here they now are, as an established top–flight club. If we can follow their pathway, we’ll definitely be on the right path.
Enjoy the game