Amidst all the controversy surrounding Cardiff City’s chairman Vincent Tan it almost seems a rare sight to see a chairman of whom a club would not be glad to see the back of.
Southampton fans were greeted with the news yesterday evening that the club had accepted the chairman Nicola Cortese’s resignation. This comes as a devastating blow for both fans and players alike.
A statement was issued by the club, which read, “With great regret we have accepted the resignation of Mr Cortese. He has done a wonderful job at the club and we very much wanted him to stay. A search has now begun for a successor”.
Southampton currently sit in 9th position in the Premier League, a decent placement after the excellent work that Mauricio Pochettino has put into the side to really get the best out of them. Pochettino was brought in to replace Nigel Adkins on January 18th 2013 and since then Southampton has thrived under the Argentine’s guidance.
The chairman’s departure follows on from disagreements between himself and the club’s owner Katharina Liebherr. His resignation could spark an outcry from the players and even result in the manager’s resignation too.
Pochettino has always spoken highly of Cortese, showing strength in their relationship, a rare sight in modern football. The players too have high regards for him. This leaves many footballing folk, both Saints fans and neutral alike, pondering as to why the club would see fit to drive such an important figure away from the club.
This could be the spark that ignites the moves for several players from the team. In particular, the promising talent of 18-year-old Luke Shaw may see fit to depart from the club sooner rather than later. The English left-back has been at the centre of Southampton’s transfer business with Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all keen to swoop in for the defender. Whilst the club has been adamant they would not be selling Shaw as of yet, this latest setback may prove difficult for the club to hold on to him, despite the player recently signing an extension to his contract.
Other players that are already rumoured to be preparing to face moves away from the St Mary’s Stadium include club captain Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin, although no clubs are rumoured to be interested in the players so far.
This latest blow for the club could prove to be a setback to the club’s plans. For all the hard work done over the summer by the manager, coaching staff and players combined, it could all be undone by one man’s departure. Low morale and speculation could see Southampton slowly slipping down the table. Only time will tell.