On 30 May 2011, Swansea returned to the English top flight for the first time since 1983 by beating Reading in a promotion playoff.
It was the culmination of a rapid rise through the lower divisions for Swansea, who were in League Two in 2005. They were promoted to League One for the 2005-06 season, then to the Championship for the 2008-09 season. Reading, meanwhile, returned to the Championship that season after a two-year spell in the Premier League.
In the summer of 2009, Reading manager Steve Coppell resigned and was replaced by Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers lasted just over six months in the job before the club announced his departure by mutual consent in December 2009. Then, at the end of the season, Rodgers took charge of Swansea.
In the 2010-11 season, he led Swansea to a third-place finish while Reading finished in fifth. The two teams advanced in the League One promotion playoffs to meet in the final at Wembley. There, playing before a crowd of over 86,000, Swansea roared to a 3-0 lead at the break with goals from Scott Sinclair (21' (pen), 22') and Stephen Dobbie (40'). A Swansea own goal four minutes into the second half closed the gap to 3-1, then Reading's Matt Mills scored in the 57th minute to bring Reading within one.
That was as close as they got, though, as Sinclair completed his hat-trick with an 80th-minute penalty kick to seal the 4-2 victory. The win made Swansea the first Welsh team to play in the Premier League and they did well, finishing their first season there in 11th place.