Swansea City's American owners have released a statement accepting "much of the responsibility" for the club's relegation from the Premier League.
The Swans' fate was confirmed on Sunday afternoon following a final-game defeat to Stoke City, ending their seven-year stay in the top tier of English football.
Majority shareholders Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan, absent from the Liberty Stadium on Sunday afternoon, concede that many off-field decisions have had a detrimental effect on the Welsh outfit during a difficult season.
"This is a testing time for any football club, when its dreams and ambitions have been shattered and it is facing the harsh reality of life outside the Premier League for the first time in many years," a statement on the club's official website read. "Nobody at Swansea City is making excuses, least of all ourselves. You can always point to injuries, suspensions, refereeing decisions that might have gone the other way, the rub of the green or plain bad luck.
"But the fact is, the club has been relegated because we simply weren't good enough over 38 games in probably the most brutal professional sports league in the world. The Premier League is unforgiving if you fall below its high standards. There have certainly been mistakes along the way and it is down to the owners to shoulder much of the responsibility. Our recruitment strategy hasn't been good enough, we all recognise that and the blame for it ultimately rests with ourselves.
"But we are taking steps to rectify that and we will be bringing additional resources to that department during the summer in a bid to change and strengthen the way we operate. Now, though, is not the time for rash statements or empty promises. We believe this is a time for everybody to pull together even through the heartbreak and bitter disappointment of relegation.
"We know this club has not been truly unified off the pitch for a while even though the supporters who come to the matches home and away have been magnificent and gave everything in a bid to inspire the team. We cannot thank or praise them enough. As owners, our commitment is total and the determination to regain Premier League status is our only focus. At the moment, it may be hard to come to terms with - but with fans, players and staff united in a common cause, we have to believe a return will be swift.
"Without that unity, we have very little chance. We recognise the huge role the club plays in the community and its importance. Perhaps the club has lost its unique identity, the special essence that made Swansea City different - better, in many ways - and we need to rediscover that identity both on the pitch and off it if we are to make the community proud of this football club again."
Swansea finished the season in 18th place with a goal difference of -28, having lost 21 of their 38 matches. body check tags ::