Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has warned he will quit the club if executive chairman Nicola Cortese leaves.
There has been much talk this week about the future of the Italian businessman, who was instrumental in the club's purchase by Markus Liebherr in 2009. Press Association Sport understands Cortese is considering his position at the club due to frustrations over the backing he receives, feeling those in charge of the Liebherr trust are not committing themselves to his ambitious plans.
"I am a very honest person and I am very, very grateful to the people that put their faith in me," Pochettino, who controversially replaced Nigel Adkins in January, said. "I would not understand staying in this role if Nicola was not here."
He added: "The person that actually called me from the start, told me about the project and put their faith in me was Nicola.
"I have great respect as well for Southampton, the club and the supporters, but Nicola has been the one that has placed his trust and faith in me.
"I wouldn't see myself in this club if it was not for him. I think I am a very transparent person, a very honest person."
Cortese stayed on after the Swiss billionaire died suddenly in 2010 and helped the club rise from League One to the Premier League.
Saints head into Sunday's final game against Stoke with another season in the top flight already assured, although whether Cortese is there to see it is another matter. The executive chairman will make a decision on whether to remain at the club within the next month.
The former Espanyol manager's forthright comments at the press conference came as a surprise to many, especially as he does not expect to have to go through with his threat. Pochettino spent much of the time speaking about a bright future and how he hopes to do most, if not all, of his transfer business by the start of July.
"I have total confidence, total faith that Nicola is going to be here for next season," Pochettino said. "We are all working towards that goal, towards next season to have everything prepared by July 1 so I have total faith that I will be here and Nicola will be here for next season."