Comment: What's the next twist in the Saints saga

Basingstoke Gazette: Mauricio Pochettino Mauricio Pochettino

HANDS up who had thought stability was now a buzzword at St Mary's?

Today's momentous events at Saints are amazing even by the soap opera standards that have been played out there in recent years.

Nicola Cortese - the man described by one Saints fan I spoke to earlier today as 'marmite - you either love him or hate him' - has gone, to be replaced temporarily by the daughter of the man who saved the club from potential oblivion, Katharina Liebherr.

Is fans knew little of Markus' background when he emerged from the shadows to purchase Saints, they know even less about Katharina.

What they do know, though, is that big changes could be on the way to a club that had, finally, seemingly obtained stability.

Where Cortese's departure leaves Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino is open to question, given the manager's previous public backing of the man who brought him to English football.

Basingstoke Gazette: Katharina Liebherr

Where does Cortese's exit leave the likes of Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and other leading star names.

In the immediate future, it leaves them still at Saints and under contract for quite a few years yet.

It would be astonishing - to put it mildly - to see a raft of players queuing up to follow Cortese out of the door just because the chairman had resigned.

It would be pretty remarkable if Pochettino left, to be honest.

I can't ever remember a Premier League manager leaving what is a great job - and let's not forget that, it IS a great job - just because his chairman had left the building.

Still, we could find out all the answers to the questions concerning the manager's own future tomorrow.

That promises to be another incredible day in the life of this most incredible of football clubs.

Too often boardroom politics have dominated events at St Mary's in the past decade - I give you Rupert Lowe, Michael Wilde, Leon Crouch, Jim Hone, Ken Dulieu - and, sadly, that is now the case again.

Basingstoke Gazette: Rupert Lowe (left) and Michael Wilde

For what seemed all too brief a moment in time, it was football that was the main talking point at Saints - and what great memories the fans are left with from the Nicola Cortese era.

Now politics are the main talking point again, and instability is again a buzzword.

Comments (24)

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8:39pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Norwegian Saint says...

Shame he has gone. He will be remember fondly by most Saints fans. We should wish him well.
Another chapter closes for another to open up. I really hope MoPo stays but even if he goes we have a great future.
The bus station manager has changed... the bus hasn't broken down... It keeps on rolling forward.
Let's continue giving other teams a hell of a beating!!!
Shame he has gone. He will be remember fondly by most Saints fans. We should wish him well. Another chapter closes for another to open up. I really hope MoPo stays but even if he goes we have a great future. The bus station manager has changed... the bus hasn't broken down... It keeps on rolling forward. Let's continue giving other teams a hell of a beating!!! Norwegian Saint

8:45pm Wed 15 Jan 14

prawn89 says...

Thank god for some optimism.
Poch, it's all on you to keep this amazing squad together.

That's what matters most.
Thank god for some optimism. Poch, it's all on you to keep this amazing squad together. That's what matters most. prawn89

8:48pm Wed 15 Jan 14

COYRlukeCOYR says...

Scary times ahead my fellow Saints fans, I think MP would be out of order to walk out on the fans and his team. That's just my opinion though.. I just hope this doesn't unsettle the club too much and affect our results on the pitch. Lets get this mess sorted and carry on looking to the future ! COYR FOREVER!! UP THE SAINTS!!
Scary times ahead my fellow Saints fans, I think MP would be out of order to walk out on the fans and his team. That's just my opinion though.. I just hope this doesn't unsettle the club too much and affect our results on the pitch. Lets get this mess sorted and carry on looking to the future ! COYR FOREVER!! UP THE SAINTS!! COYRlukeCOYR

8:50pm Wed 15 Jan 14

St.Yorkie says...

Not sure if anybody knows what Cortese or the Liebherr's have planned. The outcome will no doubt involve a number of options. MoPo stays and we stay as is. Liebherr sells to a buyer introduced by ex-CEO and we continue with a new investor and money to take us to the next level.
The other scenario is just of worth thinking about - new manager, a squad deplete of stars, and a club no one wants with an owner stopping all investment - we al know how that ends!!
Not sure if anybody knows what Cortese or the Liebherr's have planned. The outcome will no doubt involve a number of options. MoPo stays and we stay as is. Liebherr sells to a buyer introduced by ex-CEO and we continue with a new investor and money to take us to the next level. The other scenario is just of worth thinking about - new manager, a squad deplete of stars, and a club no one wants with an owner stopping all investment - we al know how that ends!! St.Yorkie

8:56pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Shooter says...

So Nicola Cortese has fallen out with the Liebherr family, but still is very much a Saints man, especially seeing as it was he who guided it back to the Premiership with his 5 year plan (which still has to be completed).

As Marmite as he is, I'd be glad to have him back at the helm.

So...
...what would stop him finding a NEW buyer (after all, it was he who recommended to Marcus Liebherr that he buy the club in the first place!) and then convince the new owner to allow him to retake the helm and continue where he left off.

Just throwing it out there... :)
So Nicola Cortese has fallen out with the Liebherr family, but still is very much a Saints man, especially seeing as it was he who guided it back to the Premiership with his 5 year plan (which still has to be completed). As Marmite as he is, I'd be glad to have him back at the helm. So... ...what would stop him finding a NEW buyer (after all, it was he who recommended to Marcus Liebherr that he buy the club in the first place!) and then convince the new owner to allow him to retake the helm and continue where he left off. Just throwing it out there... :) Shooter

8:58pm Wed 15 Jan 14

saintbobby says...

I just wonder if all the talk about there being no signings in January might be linked to the internal uncertainty which has now materialised in the very sad departure of NC.

Such a brilliant start, beyond our hopes, now looks likely to be followed by uncertainty. Whilst the dear lady has stepped in, it is as non-executive chairman. But someone has to make decisions. This is a multi-million pound business and it will not just drift along. We must be apprehensive. I thought NC's concerns had disappeared, but how wrong can you be!

All this rain, wind and floods is bad enough but now we have an earthquake. Let us hope it is only a slight rumble and there will be no ripples. COYR!!
I just wonder if all the talk about there being no signings in January might be linked to the internal uncertainty which has now materialised in the very sad departure of NC. Such a brilliant start, beyond our hopes, now looks likely to be followed by uncertainty. Whilst the dear lady has stepped in, it is as non-executive chairman. But someone has to make decisions. This is a multi-million pound business and it will not just drift along. We must be apprehensive. I thought NC's concerns had disappeared, but how wrong can you be! All this rain, wind and floods is bad enough but now we have an earthquake. Let us hope it is only a slight rumble and there will be no ripples. COYR!! saintbobby

9:00pm Wed 15 Jan 14

InCortesewetrust says...

If Mopo stays I'm hoping it's because cortese will be back with new investors, if he follows him out the door, then it's squeaky bum time.
If Mopo stays I'm hoping it's because cortese will be back with new investors, if he follows him out the door, then it's squeaky bum time. InCortesewetrust

9:05pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Norwegian Saint says...

I would feel worse if Adam, Luke, Artur, Lovren, Spider, JWP, Rickie, J-Rod, Cork, Clyne, Davis, Chambers, Fonte, Wanyama or MoPo had announced they were leaving.
I would feel worse if Adam, Luke, Artur, Lovren, Spider, JWP, Rickie, J-Rod, Cork, Clyne, Davis, Chambers, Fonte, Wanyama or MoPo had announced they were leaving. Norwegian Saint

9:11pm Wed 15 Jan 14

InCortesewetrust says...

Norwegian Saint wrote:
I would feel worse if Adam, Luke, Artur, Lovren, Spider, JWP, Rickie, J-Rod, Cork, Clyne, Davis, Chambers, Fonte, Wanyama or MoPo had announced they were leaving.
Better get your prozac ready then!
[quote][p][bold]Norwegian Saint[/bold] wrote: I would feel worse if Adam, Luke, Artur, Lovren, Spider, JWP, Rickie, J-Rod, Cork, Clyne, Davis, Chambers, Fonte, Wanyama or MoPo had announced they were leaving.[/p][/quote]Better get your prozac ready then! InCortesewetrust

9:24pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Snooky says...

if mopo stays at least to get us 10 points to safety and ensure we can get through the disruption, we could live to fight another day. my concern is the timing with so many reported interest in our players and the potential for leibherr to cash in.

but they have come in. took us back to where we belong and steadied the ship. if this is beginning of end, they leave us in a better pla e than when they took over.
if mopo stays at least to get us 10 points to safety and ensure we can get through the disruption, we could live to fight another day. my concern is the timing with so many reported interest in our players and the potential for leibherr to cash in. but they have come in. took us back to where we belong and steadied the ship. if this is beginning of end, they leave us in a better pla e than when they took over. Snooky

9:33pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Costa Baz says...

If the squad is maintained, and the club sold, for what I believe is being quoted as it's value, £100million, then surely the new owner would want to have a return on his money, at some later date?

If it is bought by a sole owner, then I would imagine he would want to continue what NC has started, as I can't imagine a single owner, with that much money to burn, would do so just to destroy it.

But if it is bought by a group, then I can see it being asset stripped, for an instant return on it's outlay, with our future being similar to the days under Lowe, with the academy being used to generate easy money for the owners, and a return to relegation battles.
If the squad is maintained, and the club sold, for what I believe is being quoted as it's value, £100million, then surely the new owner would want to have a return on his money, at some later date? If it is bought by a sole owner, then I would imagine he would want to continue what NC has started, as I can't imagine a single owner, with that much money to burn, would do so just to destroy it. But if it is bought by a group, then I can see it being asset stripped, for an instant return on it's outlay, with our future being similar to the days under Lowe, with the academy being used to generate easy money for the owners, and a return to relegation battles. Costa Baz

9:40pm Wed 15 Jan 14

REDARMYRULETHESOUTH says...

Norwegian Saint wrote:
Shame he has gone. He will be remember fondly by most Saints fans. We should wish him well.
Another chapter closes for another to open up. I really hope MoPo stays but even if he goes we have a great future.
The bus station manager has changed... the bus hasn't broken down... It keeps on rolling forward.
Let's continue giving other teams a hell of a beating!!!
RED ARMY - FIGHT AND WIN.

LET'S START WITH A RESULT AT SUNDERLAND.

UTS
[quote][p][bold]Norwegian Saint[/bold] wrote: Shame he has gone. He will be remember fondly by most Saints fans. We should wish him well. Another chapter closes for another to open up. I really hope MoPo stays but even if he goes we have a great future. The bus station manager has changed... the bus hasn't broken down... It keeps on rolling forward. Let's continue giving other teams a hell of a beating!!![/p][/quote]RED ARMY - FIGHT AND WIN. LET'S START WITH A RESULT AT SUNDERLAND. UTS REDARMYRULETHESOUTH

9:51pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Positively4thStreet says...

InCortesewetrust wrote:
If Mopo stays I'm hoping it's because cortese will be back with new investors, if he follows him out the door, then it's squeaky bum time.
Yes,I agree.That will very much be a sign that if Poch stays,even after what he has said,that there must be a very good chance of Cortese returning.
[quote][p][bold]InCortesewetrust[/bold] wrote: If Mopo stays I'm hoping it's because cortese will be back with new investors, if he follows him out the door, then it's squeaky bum time.[/p][/quote]Yes,I agree.That will very much be a sign that if Poch stays,even after what he has said,that there must be a very good chance of Cortese returning. Positively4thStreet

9:58pm Wed 15 Jan 14

BigBugBuzzz says...

Possible scenarios, and sub scenarios:

1. Liebherr sells.
1a. To consortium backing Cortese (keeping Pochetino)
1a. To consortium not involving Cortese
1aa. Keeping Pochetino.
1ab. Losing Pochetino.
2. Liebherr does not sell.
2a. Keeping Pochetino.
2b. Losing Pochetino.

I hope for 1a. I am not sure what I wish least. There are positive possibilities in all these scenarios, but 1a for continuation....
Possible scenarios, and sub scenarios: 1. Liebherr sells. 1a. To consortium backing Cortese (keeping Pochetino) 1a. To consortium not involving Cortese 1aa. Keeping Pochetino. 1ab. Losing Pochetino. 2. Liebherr does not sell. 2a. Keeping Pochetino. 2b. Losing Pochetino. I hope for 1a. I am not sure what I wish least. There are positive possibilities in all these scenarios, but 1a for continuation.... BigBugBuzzz

10:24pm Wed 15 Jan 14

beanwalking says...

maybe Kathaira is a chip of the old block like her father. i am sure Marcus had one or two board room fights in his time. It looks as though Kat has stood up to Nicola and wants thing done her way whether it be for the better or worse time will tell. As far as a woman taking charge of saints fc who would have recommended a switz banker doing so good as he has done. I dont think this was done on the spur of the moment by either parties. Not many players left after NA left so i dont expect players to be leaving in the near future when all this sorts it self out as it did about a year ago when NA left. just my thoughts on the matter
maybe Kathaira is a chip of the old block like her father. i am sure Marcus had one or two board room fights in his time. It looks as though Kat has stood up to Nicola and wants thing done her way whether it be for the better or worse time will tell. As far as a woman taking charge of saints fc who would have recommended a switz banker doing so good as he has done. I dont think this was done on the spur of the moment by either parties. Not many players left after NA left so i dont expect players to be leaving in the near future when all this sorts it self out as it did about a year ago when NA left. just my thoughts on the matter beanwalking

10:40pm Wed 15 Jan 14

BracknellSaint says...

Just hope he hasn't walked because the owners agree to/ want to cash in on some of our stars....hope I'm just worrying too much as i have the flu...
Just hope he hasn't walked because the owners agree to/ want to cash in on some of our stars....hope I'm just worrying too much as i have the flu... BracknellSaint

11:20pm Wed 15 Jan 14

poshdave says...

Yes he did a good job,(with some else' s money) and did what he was paid for...........but he has made some ruthless business decisions remember?...........
..................he has left because it suits him........do you really think if he had a real passionate relationship for our club he would leave like this even if we are up for sale!..........surel
y you would want to stay to make sure all your hard work and plans for the future were left in a new safe pair of hands....., and that goes for Poc too!.........so don't mourn him,........back the people who are in place to steer us through this rough patch...............
.....three points against Sunderland and move on!..........Could be worst, we could be Pompy fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes he did a good job,(with some else' s money) and did what he was paid for...........but he has made some ruthless business decisions remember?........... ..................he has left because it suits him........do you really think if he had a real passionate relationship for our club he would leave like this even if we are up for sale!..........surel y you would want to stay to make sure all your hard work and plans for the future were left in a new safe pair of hands....., and that goes for Poc too!.........so don't mourn him,........back the people who are in place to steer us through this rough patch............... .....three points against Sunderland and move on!..........Could be worst, we could be Pompy fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! poshdave

11:21pm Wed 15 Jan 14

dustybloggs says...

Norwegian Saint wrote:
Shame he has gone. He will be remember fondly by most Saints fans. We should wish him well.
Another chapter closes for another to open up. I really hope MoPo stays but even if he goes we have a great future.
The bus station manager has changed... the bus hasn't broken down... It keeps on rolling forward.
Let's continue giving other teams a hell of a beating!!!
David Beckham house hunting in Romsey...no there's a coincidence!
[quote][p][bold]Norwegian Saint[/bold] wrote: Shame he has gone. He will be remember fondly by most Saints fans. We should wish him well. Another chapter closes for another to open up. I really hope MoPo stays but even if he goes we have a great future. The bus station manager has changed... the bus hasn't broken down... It keeps on rolling forward. Let's continue giving other teams a hell of a beating!!![/p][/quote]David Beckham house hunting in Romsey...no there's a coincidence! dustybloggs

11:40pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Jonathan Hartleypfc says...

Before anything else I'll say I'm a Pompey supporter but... During your dark days I wanted you to survive because we both need each other so we can each have a local rival. What seems to be happening now yet again shows the danger of having one wealthy individual/family owning a community's football club. You've seen it before and we've had more than enough experience of it to last a lifetime. I hope you get through this so that one day soon we can beat you yet again...
Before anything else I'll say I'm a Pompey supporter but... During your dark days I wanted you to survive because we both need each other so we can each have a local rival. What seems to be happening now yet again shows the danger of having one wealthy individual/family owning a community's football club. You've seen it before and we've had more than enough experience of it to last a lifetime. I hope you get through this so that one day soon we can beat you yet again... Jonathan Hartleypfc

11:49pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Pikey Pete says...

I remember reading here everyone hated Cortese. Then hated MoPo....

It is just Cortese leaving. MoPo wants a job and money. He aint going anywhere.

The club is not for sale.

DONT PANIC..
I remember reading here everyone hated Cortese. Then hated MoPo.... It is just Cortese leaving. MoPo wants a job and money. He aint going anywhere. The club is not for sale. DONT PANIC.. Pikey Pete

1:01am Thu 16 Jan 14

soton1980 says...

InCortesewetrust wrote:
If Mopo stays I'm hoping it's because cortese will be back with new investors, if he follows him out the door, then it's squeaky bum time.
If Poch stays then it could also be a good sign that Katharina won't sell any of our star players.

If I recall correctly, he was constantly undermined at Espanyol when his best players kept on being sold. No doubt Cortese's offer of a club where this wouldn't happen is something which greatly appealed to him.

At the moment there's a lot of tabloid transfer talk which I'll be taking with a pinch of salt, but if Katharina does start selling our star players it will effectively be destroying Markus's legacy and breaking the hearts of the fans who adored him so much.
[quote][p][bold]InCortesewetrust[/bold] wrote: If Mopo stays I'm hoping it's because cortese will be back with new investors, if he follows him out the door, then it's squeaky bum time.[/p][/quote]If Poch stays then it could also be a good sign that Katharina won't sell any of our star players. If I recall correctly, he was constantly undermined at Espanyol when his best players kept on being sold. No doubt Cortese's offer of a club where this wouldn't happen is something which greatly appealed to him. At the moment there's a lot of tabloid transfer talk which I'll be taking with a pinch of salt, but if Katharina does start selling our star players it will effectively be destroying Markus's legacy and breaking the hearts of the fans who adored him so much. soton1980

1:22am Thu 16 Jan 14

el caballo santos101 says...

**** Pete wrote:
I remember reading here everyone hated Cortese. Then hated MoPo....

It is just Cortese leaving. MoPo wants a job and money. He aint going anywhere.

The club is not for sale.

DONT PANIC..
not everyone hated NC by the way.
and nearly everyone supported MP, not much hate there either.
you know exactly what MP is thinking then?
you also know that KL isn't going to sell the club and will continue to run it?
[quote][p][bold]**** Pete[/bold] wrote: I remember reading here everyone hated Cortese. Then hated MoPo.... It is just Cortese leaving. MoPo wants a job and money. He aint going anywhere. The club is not for sale. DONT PANIC..[/p][/quote]not everyone hated NC by the way. and nearly everyone supported MP, not much hate there either. you know exactly what MP is thinking then? you also know that KL isn't going to sell the club and will continue to run it? el caballo santos101

1:37am Thu 16 Jan 14

montecristosaint says...

saintbobby wrote:
I just wonder if all the talk about there being no signings in January might be linked to the internal uncertainty which has now materialised in the very sad departure of NC.

Such a brilliant start, beyond our hopes, now looks likely to be followed by uncertainty. Whilst the dear lady has stepped in, it is as non-executive chairman. But someone has to make decisions. This is a multi-million pound business and it will not just drift along. We must be apprehensive. I thought NC's concerns had disappeared, but how wrong can you be!

All this rain, wind and floods is bad enough but now we have an earthquake. Let us hope it is only a slight rumble and there will be no ripples. COYR!!
I think you have stumbled upon one of the reasons for Cortese s departure. He wanted to retain Saints stars, and get the Liebherrs to fund further acquisitions. Reports tonight suggest that Miss Liebherr does not intend to asset strip k, and that her bone of contention was with Cortese s management style. He was not the best at keeping fans informed and I wonder whether he was any better at keeping his employer in the loop either.I hope for all Saints fans that following the meeting with the players tomorrow , that they will be persuaded not to abandon ship,Miss Liebherr will need to be very candid with them and assure them that she proposes no wide sweeping changes in direction. The club needs to retain its players many of whom would be virtually impossible to replace.
The next two weeks will be the longest in the clubs history. It will either go forward renewed or begin to sink in total disarray with a corresponding slump in the club s saleable value. I cant bring myself to believe that the Liebherrs astute as they are will allow this to happen. In fact, one possible out come is that club may be taken out of Katarina s ownership and transferred to the main Liebherr empire where it will be properly run under a corporate structure, which will be the best outcome for a very modern forward looking football club with a great future. Football is big busnness these days and I hope and pray that we are not in a Rupert Lowe inspired downward spiral into oblivion.
[quote][p][bold]saintbobby[/bold] wrote: I just wonder if all the talk about there being no signings in January might be linked to the internal uncertainty which has now materialised in the very sad departure of NC. Such a brilliant start, beyond our hopes, now looks likely to be followed by uncertainty. Whilst the dear lady has stepped in, it is as non-executive chairman. But someone has to make decisions. This is a multi-million pound business and it will not just drift along. We must be apprehensive. I thought NC's concerns had disappeared, but how wrong can you be! All this rain, wind and floods is bad enough but now we have an earthquake. Let us hope it is only a slight rumble and there will be no ripples. COYR!![/p][/quote]I think you have stumbled upon one of the reasons for Cortese s departure. He wanted to retain Saints stars, and get the Liebherrs to fund further acquisitions. Reports tonight suggest that Miss Liebherr does not intend to asset strip k, and that her bone of contention was with Cortese s management style. He was not the best at keeping fans informed and I wonder whether he was any better at keeping his employer in the loop either.I hope for all Saints fans that following the meeting with the players tomorrow , that they will be persuaded not to abandon ship,Miss Liebherr will need to be very candid with them and assure them that she proposes no wide sweeping changes in direction. The club needs to retain its players many of whom would be virtually impossible to replace. The next two weeks will be the longest in the clubs history. It will either go forward renewed or begin to sink in total disarray with a corresponding slump in the club s saleable value. I cant bring myself to believe that the Liebherrs astute as they are will allow this to happen. In fact, one possible out come is that club may be taken out of Katarina s ownership and transferred to the main Liebherr empire where it will be properly run under a corporate structure, which will be the best outcome for a very modern forward looking football club with a great future. Football is big busnness these days and I hope and pray that we are not in a Rupert Lowe inspired downward spiral into oblivion. montecristosaint

7:19am Thu 16 Jan 14

malcher says...

Never a boring moment at SFC! Only hope that NC comes back as part of a buy out. He previouly stated he had people lined up if KB wanted to sell.
If not I fear the worst!
MP's press conference today could be significant.
Never a boring moment at SFC! Only hope that NC comes back as part of a buy out. He previouly stated he had people lined up if KB wanted to sell. If not I fear the worst! MP's press conference today could be significant. malcher

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