How Oprah became an unlikely Swansea City fan


Oprah Winfrey has topped many polls that rank her “the most influential woman in the world”.

She has a Twitter following of 42 million and is estimated to be worth almost $3 billion, but did you know Oprah Winfrey is also a Swansea City supporter?

They might not be the biggest club, they might not be the richest club and they certainly are not the most successful, but Swansea are seemingly now streets ahead when it comes to celebrity fans.

Hollywood royalty are now clamouring for tickets to watch the Swans, with Oprah, film star and Swansea investor Mindy Kaling and Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon all discussing the Premier League strugglers while promoting their new film, A Wrinkle in Time.

But how exactly did Oprah become a fan of Kyle Bartley and Naughton and when did Hollywood’s A-list start taking interest in the 12-times Welsh Cup winners?

Hollywood investment

Swansea have been on the Hollywood radar ever since their takeover by a US consortium, led by businessmen Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien.

However, as BBC Sport Wales revealed, the consortium includes Hollywood actress Kaling, a former star of the US Office and soon to be seen in the all-female remake of Ocean’s 8.

Kaplan and Levien led the 68% controlling stake buy-out in 2016.

The consortium included another 25 investors, including Kaling, who also starred in her own show, the Mindy Project.

It also featured filmmaker and Los Angeles Rams co-owner Chip Rosenbloom.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine Kelly show, Kaling explained that co-star Winfrey was her inspiration in opting to invest in Swansea.

Mindy Kaling co-wrote some of the US version of the Office with her co-star B.J Novak and she served as an executive producer on the show

“It is true that I own shares in Swansea,” she explained.

“It doesn’t often come up organically in conversation but while I am here I am hoping to go to Wales to see my team.

“Football is such an amazing sport, so incredibly popular worldwide.

“I was honestly inspired by Oprah, she invests in things she believes in and I believe in this team and I think it is a smart choice, I don’t think it’s going anywhere.

“I could have picked something a little closer to my home, granted, but I think it’s an adventure.”

Oprah’s ‘open invite’

Swansea City have told BBC Sport Wales that they would welcome Kaling and her co-stars to any game, with Hollywood’s finest guaranteed a warm welcome in SA1.

Winfrey explained that Kaling is so passionate about the Swans, that she could be tempted to invest as well.

“I just found this out yesterday (about Kaling part-owning Swansea), but I do believe in that too, I do believe in making investments in what you believe,” she said.

“(If you do that) your energy goes into the same thing your money is going into. That just gives it more power.

“So I now believe in the team too! I’ll invest in it too.”

Asked if that meant she was now also a Swansea City fan, Oprah replied: “There you go!”

“Any friend of Mindy Kaling’s is a friend of Swansea City,” a club spokesman said.

“They are all welcome at any Swansea City match.”

Swansea play Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup on Saturday as they bid to reach the semi-final of the FA Cup for the first time since 1964.

Source link