Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins has resigned after 17 years in the role.
Jenkins, 55, who presided over the club’s rise from the bottom tier to the Premier League after being appointed in 2002, announced his decision in a statement released by the BBC.
“It comes with great sadness but I feel I’ve been left with little or no option (but) to leave my position,” said Jenkins, who has been increasingly criticised by a section of fans since the club’s relegation from the top flight last season.
“I have been very fortunate to fulfil my childhood dreams over the last 17 years or so, providing direction and leadership at the club while moving through the football leagues and competing with the elite of British football in the Premier League for seven seasons.
“Gradually over the last few seasons my role as chairman, providing such leadership and direction, has been eroded away.
“Finally I can sit back no longer and hide behind my position and stay true to myself and my beliefs.”
Swansea escaped relegation out of the Football League in 2003 and won promotion to the Premier League in 2011. They also lifted the League Cup in 2013.
American businessmen Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan bought a 68 per cent stake in Swansea in the summer of 2016 and Jenkins stayed on in his role as chairman.
But the owners have been accused by the Swansea City Supporters’ Trust of lacking ambition and pressure from fans has mounted following relegation to the Sky Bet Championship in May.
Swansea said in a later statement on their official website that they hoped Jenkins’ resignation could allow the club to draw a line under a difficult period.
The club said they had begun the search for a “leader of football operations to work closely with the senior management team” and that Jenkins’ achievements would never be forgotten.
The statement read: “However, it has reached a stage where the way Swansea City has been run on a day-to-day basis has to change.
“There can be no disguising the fact recruitment has been extremely disappointing for the past several transfer windows. It has left the club in a weakened position where strong action had to be taken to rectify the situation.
“It is an opportunity to rejuvenate, to bring in fresh methods of working and move forward with a strong decision-making process.”
The Welsh club’s 2-0 defeat at Bristol City on Saturday left them 13th in the table, six points off the play-off places.