COMMENT: Nicola Cortese - Saints hero or villain?

Basingstoke Gazette: Nicola Cortese - Saints hero or villain? Nicola Cortese - Saints hero or villain?

NICOLA Cortese enjoyed four and a half years of almost non-stop success as chairman of Saints. Yet the Swiss-Italian businessman often rubbed sections of the fanbase up the wrong way. He was never afraid to make unpopular decisions, and as a result was the St Mary’s equivalent of Marmite. You either loved him or hated him. Here, ADAM LEITCH looks back at the highs and the lows of Cortese’s incredible reign ...

Cortese - a Saint

Let’s take a quick look at the bare bones of Cortese’s time in charge of Saints.

The club was just days away from potential liquidation when he and Markus Liebherr arrived with their takeover.

They clear all the debt and appoint Alan Pardew as manager, somehow convincing him to join a club in League One that is starting the season on minus ten points.

They spend £1m on Rickie Lambert and a host of other players as Saints blitz the division.

They don’t quite get a play-off place, but are closer than most people would have imagined possible at the start of the season. They also go to Wembley and have a brilliant day as they win the JPT.

The second season, and with Liebherr having passed away, Cortese gets rid of Pardew and replaces him with Nigel Adkins, while better players continue to arrive.

Adkins leads the team to League One promotion as runners-up to Brighton.

Far from targeting a season of Championship consolidation, Cortese was not prepared to settle. He was keen to push the club forward.

Again, better players arrived and it worked as Saints went straight through the Championship and into the Premier League.

Forget the five-year plan devised when Cortese arrived, this was top-flight football achieved in just three seasons.

But was he prepared to settle now for a season of targeting fourth from bottom?

No way.

Indeed, rumour has it that it was a presentation from Adkins in the summer before they kicked off the Premier League campaign targeting avoiding relegation that sowed the seeds of doubt in Cortese’s mind about his manager. His ambitions were far greater.

After a dodgy start was turned around Adkins was dismissed and immediately replaced by Mauricio Pochettino.

It seemed harsh, callous, cold and calculating, and the backlash was inevitable. But it worked – and how.

Pochettino has taken the club to another level, and his hopes and ambitions and drive matched Cortese’s.

Add to that the fact Cortese has grown the club massively in terms of finances and infrastructure, not to mention staffing numbers boosting employment in the region, and the added benefit the whole city gets from Premier League football and you have a big achiever.

The training ground is being redeveloped to be one of the best in Europe, the academy is thriving and top players being recruited for big money and starting to view Saints as one of the happening clubs to be at.

All right, Cortese had his run-ins and fall-outs, sometimes he did things that raised a few eyebrows, but that is the cut and thrust of a successful businessman. You get nowhere in life if you don’t ruffle a few feathers when it’s needed. And, in a results business, you cannot argue with his results.

Cortese - a sinner

Football is a unique business.
   It isn’t one that just relies on the black and white of results and normal business practice.
It is an emotional and passionate pastime for millions of fans around the world, and a very unique business.
To be really successful, to be loved, you have to take account of that and embrace it.
Cortese never really got it.
It’s amazing that a man who led the club to such massive success on the pitch made enemies as quickly as friends.
Cortese was never really a man of the people. He seemed a little aloof.
His stance towards and spats with pillars of the club such as former players and managers like Matt Le Tissier and Francis Benali, the latter even ending up taking legal action, this newspaper – who were banned for two and a half years – and various members of staff who ended up in employment tribunals was really disappointing.
All good logic and normal business sense might have backed up the reasons he pursued some of these causes.
But this is football and it doesn’t work like that.
A respect for history and tradition is important. Though there is no sensible reason why people who got paid for playing for or managing the club years ago should be given free handouts and red carpet treatment, it’s what fans want to see.
Football is an irrational and illogical passion.
Problems with contractors at the training ground have delayed its development while there has always been a slightly odd relationship with the fans.
They loved the joy the team under Cortese brought them, but not losing their beloved red and white striped shirts, charging for parking at the ground, sacking programme sellers or removing free entry from supporters with serious sight problems.
On top of that he never seemed to make an effort to integrate with the city or the supporters, shunning his possible role as a real leader of the community, and doing away with traditional fans’ forums in favour of occasional dinner invites for handpicked supporters.
His treatment of his managers did work out, but was also harsh. It seemed he couldn’t manage to sustain a relationship with them for a long-term period.
Pardew was doing a good job before he was replaced, as was Adkins.
There is no arguing about the results that were achieved, nobody could ultimately knock Cortese for that and, perhaps, in football that is the most important thing.
But the game is about so much more than that.
It has a massive place in our communities and the hearts of the generations of fans who love it and the heroes they worship down the years.
It never felt like Cortese really got it.

Comments (24)

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6:22am Fri 17 Jan 14

johnlennonar says...

What a stupid article from the DE. He saved Southampton us from closing and took us all the way up again building a solid foundation.
What a stupid article from the DE. He saved Southampton us from closing and took us all the way up again building a solid foundation. johnlennonar
  • Score: 27

6:36am Fri 17 Jan 14

andoru says...

He "got it" a lot more than a lot of chairmen. He didn't change our name or make us play in blue. He changed what needed to be changed and took us on in ways most us never thought possible. Ambition was never something the Saints of my childhood could have been accused of having. Now it permeates every level of the club. All I hope is that it stays with us, that Cortese has left his vision as a legacy and not taken it out of the door with him. I'd hate to see us stall and become that little feeder club on the south coast again. We can be better than that. The Don made me believe it so.
He "got it" a lot more than a lot of chairmen. He didn't change our name or make us play in blue. He changed what needed to be changed and took us on in ways most us never thought possible. Ambition was never something the Saints of my childhood could have been accused of having. Now it permeates every level of the club. All I hope is that it stays with us, that Cortese has left his vision as a legacy and not taken it out of the door with him. I'd hate to see us stall and become that little feeder club on the south coast again. We can be better than that. The Don made me believe it so. andoru
  • Score: 42

6:53am Fri 17 Jan 14

saintstu downunder says...

What a waste of time this article is. Of course Cortese is a hero. Without him, and the Liebherr's, we would be doing a Pompey right now.

Get off his back and let the Saints get back to business.
What a waste of time this article is. Of course Cortese is a hero. Without him, and the Liebherr's, we would be doing a Pompey right now. Get off his back and let the Saints get back to business. saintstu downunder
  • Score: 31

7:14am Fri 17 Jan 14

milton road says...

NC may have made some tough and unpopular decisions, but everything he did was for the good of the club. One has to seriously wonder about the future without him at the helm.
He is the most important figure in Saints history for without him Markus would never have bought the club and we would not be here.

I cannot see him just walking timidly away from this club which he gave so much to. Would not be surprised to see him back as chairman come summer with new owners.
NC may have made some tough and unpopular decisions, but everything he did was for the good of the club. One has to seriously wonder about the future without him at the helm. He is the most important figure in Saints history for without him Markus would never have bought the club and we would not be here. I cannot see him just walking timidly away from this club which he gave so much to. Would not be surprised to see him back as chairman come summer with new owners. milton road
  • Score: 23

7:16am Fri 17 Jan 14

SiamSaint says...

I don't ever agree with banning the press, but if he comes back you may as well burn your press cards
I don't ever agree with banning the press, but if he comes back you may as well burn your press cards SiamSaint
  • Score: 11

7:24am Fri 17 Jan 14

Shareholder says...

Nicola Cortese's biggest achievement was that he made Saints different. His whole approach, what he termed the Southampton Way, marked us out as different from any other Premier League Club. For an Italian born Swiss banker that way was distinctly English in that its focus was creating a team whose core was a group of young English players brought through an academy system the envy of every club in the land. Just how different was shown a few weeks ago when we fielded 8 English players in our team. Most of the top teams struggle to field a third that number. We're different because as things currently stand we could easily provide a third of more of the next generation of the English national team. Suddenly we're the club everybody in the football world wants to talk about. We're different because we've produced a model just about everybody wants to emulate. And we're different in the style of football we play. With our strongest team on the field we'll beat any team, only the weakness of the squad stops us sustaining that all season long. But Cortese and Pochettino recognised that and would have strengthened this summer.

My fear now is that whether we stay a club owned by Katharina Liebherr or anyone else we'll revert to being just any other Premiership club. Or even worse we become yet another basket case like many others bought out in recent years. One thing for sure it's that if Nicola Cortese didn't quite grasp some of the emotion and deep societal knowledge of English football tradition the owner has an even weaker grasp; she it seems doesn't even like the game.

This isn't the end of the world and it certainly isn't the disaster of some past board-room fall outs. We're still in a strong position and we're financially secure. But right now there's a certain sense of the inevitable in the air. Keeping the manager beyond the summer would seem a hard task to achieve given his comments yesterday and the football world is bound to be aghast that we've lost our most progressive and innovative Chairman.

Nicola Cortese was different and he made the difference. I fear he was a one-off. Love him or hate him he made us different and in the most positive way possible. With his departure I feel our star has dimmed and the excitement for the fans will diminish. I'm not saying we're heading for disaster, I don't think we're anywhere near that. But I do think it's all going to be a little less interesting and little less fun.

So thank you Nicola Cortese. You may not be the sort of person I'd want to go for a pint with but you're sure as Hell the person I'd want running my football club.
Nicola Cortese's biggest achievement was that he made Saints different. His whole approach, what he termed the Southampton Way, marked us out as different from any other Premier League Club. For an Italian born Swiss banker that way was distinctly English in that its focus was creating a team whose core was a group of young English players brought through an academy system the envy of every club in the land. Just how different was shown a few weeks ago when we fielded 8 English players in our team. Most of the top teams struggle to field a third that number. We're different because as things currently stand we could easily provide a third of more of the next generation of the English national team. Suddenly we're the club everybody in the football world wants to talk about. We're different because we've produced a model just about everybody wants to emulate. And we're different in the style of football we play. With our strongest team on the field we'll beat any team, only the weakness of the squad stops us sustaining that all season long. But Cortese and Pochettino recognised that and would have strengthened this summer. My fear now is that whether we stay a club owned by Katharina Liebherr or anyone else we'll revert to being just any other Premiership club. Or even worse we become yet another basket case like many others bought out in recent years. One thing for sure it's that if Nicola Cortese didn't quite grasp some of the emotion and deep societal knowledge of English football tradition the owner has an even weaker grasp; she it seems doesn't even like the game. This isn't the end of the world and it certainly isn't the disaster of some past board-room fall outs. We're still in a strong position and we're financially secure. But right now there's a certain sense of the inevitable in the air. Keeping the manager beyond the summer would seem a hard task to achieve given his comments yesterday and the football world is bound to be aghast that we've lost our most progressive and innovative Chairman. Nicola Cortese was different and he made the difference. I fear he was a one-off. Love him or hate him he made us different and in the most positive way possible. With his departure I feel our star has dimmed and the excitement for the fans will diminish. I'm not saying we're heading for disaster, I don't think we're anywhere near that. But I do think it's all going to be a little less interesting and little less fun. So thank you Nicola Cortese. You may not be the sort of person I'd want to go for a pint with but you're sure as Hell the person I'd want running my football club. Shareholder
  • Score: 52

7:34am Fri 17 Jan 14

willygetaway says...

Nice stir up DE thats why he banned you, for the record he was the best thing to happen to Saints sinnce lawrie Mac COYR now lets just get on with some winning football
Nice stir up DE thats why he banned you, for the record he was the best thing to happen to Saints sinnce lawrie Mac COYR now lets just get on with some winning football willygetaway
  • Score: 16

7:37am Fri 17 Jan 14

andoru says...

Shareholder wrote:
Nicola Cortese's biggest achievement was that he made Saints different. His whole approach, what he termed the Southampton Way, marked us out as different from any other Premier League Club. For an Italian born Swiss banker that way was distinctly English in that its focus was creating a team whose core was a group of young English players brought through an academy system the envy of every club in the land. Just how different was shown a few weeks ago when we fielded 8 English players in our team. Most of the top teams struggle to field a third that number. We're different because as things currently stand we could easily provide a third of more of the next generation of the English national team. Suddenly we're the club everybody in the football world wants to talk about. We're different because we've produced a model just about everybody wants to emulate. And we're different in the style of football we play. With our strongest team on the field we'll beat any team, only the weakness of the squad stops us sustaining that all season long. But Cortese and Pochettino recognised that and would have strengthened this summer.

My fear now is that whether we stay a club owned by Katharina Liebherr or anyone else we'll revert to being just any other Premiership club. Or even worse we become yet another basket case like many others bought out in recent years. One thing for sure it's that if Nicola Cortese didn't quite grasp some of the emotion and deep societal knowledge of English football tradition the owner has an even weaker grasp; she it seems doesn't even like the game.

This isn't the end of the world and it certainly isn't the disaster of some past board-room fall outs. We're still in a strong position and we're financially secure. But right now there's a certain sense of the inevitable in the air. Keeping the manager beyond the summer would seem a hard task to achieve given his comments yesterday and the football world is bound to be aghast that we've lost our most progressive and innovative Chairman.

Nicola Cortese was different and he made the difference. I fear he was a one-off. Love him or hate him he made us different and in the most positive way possible. With his departure I feel our star has dimmed and the excitement for the fans will diminish. I'm not saying we're heading for disaster, I don't think we're anywhere near that. But I do think it's all going to be a little less interesting and little less fun.

So thank you Nicola Cortese. You may not be the sort of person I'd want to go for a pint with but you're sure as Hell the person I'd want running my football club.
Here here. It's his "project" I fear coming to an end, not a sudden collapse of the club as a whole.
[quote][p][bold]Shareholder[/bold] wrote: Nicola Cortese's biggest achievement was that he made Saints different. His whole approach, what he termed the Southampton Way, marked us out as different from any other Premier League Club. For an Italian born Swiss banker that way was distinctly English in that its focus was creating a team whose core was a group of young English players brought through an academy system the envy of every club in the land. Just how different was shown a few weeks ago when we fielded 8 English players in our team. Most of the top teams struggle to field a third that number. We're different because as things currently stand we could easily provide a third of more of the next generation of the English national team. Suddenly we're the club everybody in the football world wants to talk about. We're different because we've produced a model just about everybody wants to emulate. And we're different in the style of football we play. With our strongest team on the field we'll beat any team, only the weakness of the squad stops us sustaining that all season long. But Cortese and Pochettino recognised that and would have strengthened this summer. My fear now is that whether we stay a club owned by Katharina Liebherr or anyone else we'll revert to being just any other Premiership club. Or even worse we become yet another basket case like many others bought out in recent years. One thing for sure it's that if Nicola Cortese didn't quite grasp some of the emotion and deep societal knowledge of English football tradition the owner has an even weaker grasp; she it seems doesn't even like the game. This isn't the end of the world and it certainly isn't the disaster of some past board-room fall outs. We're still in a strong position and we're financially secure. But right now there's a certain sense of the inevitable in the air. Keeping the manager beyond the summer would seem a hard task to achieve given his comments yesterday and the football world is bound to be aghast that we've lost our most progressive and innovative Chairman. Nicola Cortese was different and he made the difference. I fear he was a one-off. Love him or hate him he made us different and in the most positive way possible. With his departure I feel our star has dimmed and the excitement for the fans will diminish. I'm not saying we're heading for disaster, I don't think we're anywhere near that. But I do think it's all going to be a little less interesting and little less fun. So thank you Nicola Cortese. You may not be the sort of person I'd want to go for a pint with but you're sure as Hell the person I'd want running my football club.[/p][/quote]Here here. It's his "project" I fear coming to an end, not a sudden collapse of the club as a whole. andoru
  • Score: 11

7:42am Fri 17 Jan 14

saint christopher says...

Quite right - pointless article.

However back to the matter in hand, now the dust has settled what do we make of it all girls and boys? Am I the only one feeling something somewhere doesn't quite add up?

Saints was NC's baby, "the project". Everything meticulously planned, nothing left to chance. Katharina not the ideal owner maybe - but to suddenly throw the toys out his pram and leave it all behind without even telling his right-hand man why he's going? To just turn his back and leave everything to potentially implode after all he's done, said and promised?

Sorry, there's a lot more going on than we're aware of IMO. Whatever may be said against NC - and no one is perfect - his total commitment to Saints was beyond question, and to basically just walk away (albeit over possibly a major issue such Leibherr's future plans for the club) does not fit with all we've learnt about him.

My hunch (daydream?) is that he'll soon be re-installed as Chairman by those he has been negotiating with for many months - the proud owner of not just the baby but the pram, cot and everything else. Pipe dream? Perhaps. But for the moment I'd rather cling to that, as to be frank most other scenarios are pretty depressing
Quite right - pointless article. However back to the matter in hand, now the dust has settled what do we make of it all girls and boys? Am I the only one feeling something somewhere doesn't quite add up? Saints was NC's baby, "the project". Everything meticulously planned, nothing left to chance. Katharina not the ideal owner maybe - but to suddenly throw the toys out his pram and leave it all behind without even telling his right-hand man why he's going? To just turn his back and leave everything to potentially implode after all he's done, said and promised? Sorry, there's a lot more going on than we're aware of IMO. Whatever may be said against NC - and no one is perfect - his total commitment to Saints was beyond question, and to basically just walk away (albeit over possibly a major issue such Leibherr's future plans for the club) does not fit with all we've learnt about him. My hunch (daydream?) is that he'll soon be re-installed as Chairman by those he has been negotiating with for many months - the proud owner of not just the baby but the pram, cot and everything else. Pipe dream? Perhaps. But for the moment I'd rather cling to that, as to be frank most other scenarios are pretty depressing saint christopher
  • Score: 18

7:54am Fri 17 Jan 14

Golden_Salamander says...

Shareholder wrote:
Nicola Cortese's biggest achievement was that he made Saints different. His whole approach, what he termed the Southampton Way, marked us out as different from any other Premier League Club. For an Italian born Swiss banker that way was distinctly English in that its focus was creating a team whose core was a group of young English players brought through an academy system the envy of every club in the land. Just how different was shown a few weeks ago when we fielded 8 English players in our team. Most of the top teams struggle to field a third that number. We're different because as things currently stand we could easily provide a third of more of the next generation of the English national team. Suddenly we're the club everybody in the football world wants to talk about. We're different because we've produced a model just about everybody wants to emulate. And we're different in the style of football we play. With our strongest team on the field we'll beat any team, only the weakness of the squad stops us sustaining that all season long. But Cortese and Pochettino recognised that and would have strengthened this summer.

My fear now is that whether we stay a club owned by Katharina Liebherr or anyone else we'll revert to being just any other Premiership club. Or even worse we become yet another basket case like many others bought out in recent years. One thing for sure it's that if Nicola Cortese didn't quite grasp some of the emotion and deep societal knowledge of English football tradition the owner has an even weaker grasp; she it seems doesn't even like the game.

This isn't the end of the world and it certainly isn't the disaster of some past board-room fall outs. We're still in a strong position and we're financially secure. But right now there's a certain sense of the inevitable in the air. Keeping the manager beyond the summer would seem a hard task to achieve given his comments yesterday and the football world is bound to be aghast that we've lost our most progressive and innovative Chairman.

Nicola Cortese was different and he made the difference. I fear he was a one-off. Love him or hate him he made us different and in the most positive way possible. With his departure I feel our star has dimmed and the excitement for the fans will diminish. I'm not saying we're heading for disaster, I don't think we're anywhere near that. But I do think it's all going to be a little less interesting and little less fun.

So thank you Nicola Cortese. You may not be the sort of person I'd want to go for a pint with but you're sure as Hell the person I'd want running my football club.
Top post.
You should get Adam's job at the Echo or he should replace his article with yours.
[quote][p][bold]Shareholder[/bold] wrote: Nicola Cortese's biggest achievement was that he made Saints different. His whole approach, what he termed the Southampton Way, marked us out as different from any other Premier League Club. For an Italian born Swiss banker that way was distinctly English in that its focus was creating a team whose core was a group of young English players brought through an academy system the envy of every club in the land. Just how different was shown a few weeks ago when we fielded 8 English players in our team. Most of the top teams struggle to field a third that number. We're different because as things currently stand we could easily provide a third of more of the next generation of the English national team. Suddenly we're the club everybody in the football world wants to talk about. We're different because we've produced a model just about everybody wants to emulate. And we're different in the style of football we play. With our strongest team on the field we'll beat any team, only the weakness of the squad stops us sustaining that all season long. But Cortese and Pochettino recognised that and would have strengthened this summer. My fear now is that whether we stay a club owned by Katharina Liebherr or anyone else we'll revert to being just any other Premiership club. Or even worse we become yet another basket case like many others bought out in recent years. One thing for sure it's that if Nicola Cortese didn't quite grasp some of the emotion and deep societal knowledge of English football tradition the owner has an even weaker grasp; she it seems doesn't even like the game. This isn't the end of the world and it certainly isn't the disaster of some past board-room fall outs. We're still in a strong position and we're financially secure. But right now there's a certain sense of the inevitable in the air. Keeping the manager beyond the summer would seem a hard task to achieve given his comments yesterday and the football world is bound to be aghast that we've lost our most progressive and innovative Chairman. Nicola Cortese was different and he made the difference. I fear he was a one-off. Love him or hate him he made us different and in the most positive way possible. With his departure I feel our star has dimmed and the excitement for the fans will diminish. I'm not saying we're heading for disaster, I don't think we're anywhere near that. But I do think it's all going to be a little less interesting and little less fun. So thank you Nicola Cortese. You may not be the sort of person I'd want to go for a pint with but you're sure as Hell the person I'd want running my football club.[/p][/quote]Top post. You should get Adam's job at the Echo or he should replace his article with yours. Golden_Salamander
  • Score: 10

7:55am Fri 17 Jan 14

Saint. says...

Simply the most stupid question you the DE have ever asked!!

NC has been the best thing that has happen to this club! If K had her eyes open sat behind her advisors she would of seen this and never let him go!!

We can hope and trust that NC comes back with a takeover!

Clear to see that only the DE is happy here!
Simply the most stupid question you the DE have ever asked!! NC has been the best thing that has happen to this club! If K had her eyes open sat behind her advisors she would of seen this and never let him go!! We can hope and trust that NC comes back with a takeover! Clear to see that only the DE is happy here! Saint.
  • Score: 8

8:34am Fri 17 Jan 14

Saintsayer II says...

I don't want to go back to being the supporter of a club who's only ambition is to stay in the PL Nicola gave us all hope of something better than that He also gave us a team and a club that we could be proud of
Many suspect that he will return ....................
I hope they are right
I don't want to go back to being the supporter of a club who's only ambition is to stay in the PL Nicola gave us all hope of something better than that He also gave us a team and a club that we could be proud of Many suspect that he will return .................... I hope they are right Saintsayer II
  • Score: 6

8:50am Fri 17 Jan 14

montecristosaint says...

What Saints need right now is strong leadership, the kind that Cortese most certainly provided. There were no shades of grey with him and to be frank that is exactly what a football club needs, with the tendency that there is for people in the game to behave like absolute prima donnas. Katharina Liebherr, come out of your shell, please, now. The fans and your club need you to be upfront, make a proper statement, the amount of speculation as to your plans, the supposed uncertainty amongst the players needs to stop immediately. While I completely understand why this has happened, the club needs you to put a stop to the terrible media coverage that there is, it simply isnt healthy. and unfortunately while there may be no truth in the rumours anyone would think you were preparing to dismantle the club piece by piece by selling all the players. Shaw is reported to be unhappy and seeking a move and goodness knows what the situation is with the others. and to be frank the fans arent happy either. If Katharina ever thought all she had to do is make the odd decision and wait for something to turn up she needs to think again. To put it bluntly the value of Southampton football club is dropping daily and will continue to do so until she comes out and arrests this slide into media driven oblivion.
What Saints need right now is strong leadership, the kind that Cortese most certainly provided. There were no shades of grey with him and to be frank that is exactly what a football club needs, with the tendency that there is for people in the game to behave like absolute prima donnas. Katharina Liebherr, come out of your shell, please, now. The fans and your club need you to be upfront, make a proper statement, the amount of speculation as to your plans, the supposed uncertainty amongst the players needs to stop immediately. While I completely understand why this has happened, the club needs you to put a stop to the terrible media coverage that there is, it simply isnt healthy. and unfortunately while there may be no truth in the rumours anyone would think you were preparing to dismantle the club piece by piece by selling all the players. Shaw is reported to be unhappy and seeking a move and goodness knows what the situation is with the others. and to be frank the fans arent happy either. If Katharina ever thought all she had to do is make the odd decision and wait for something to turn up she needs to think again. To put it bluntly the value of Southampton football club is dropping daily and will continue to do so until she comes out and arrests this slide into media driven oblivion. montecristosaint
  • Score: 0

8:51am Fri 17 Jan 14

Norwegian Saint says...

That question just doesn't even justify a response!
Silly Adam Leitch.... just silly, thought you were better than that.
That question just doesn't even justify a response! Silly Adam Leitch.... just silly, thought you were better than that. Norwegian Saint
  • Score: 4

9:13am Fri 17 Jan 14

Jesus_02 says...

He "got it" better than any other chairman in the league IMO.

Synopsis;

Cons

He didn’t ask what people wanted:

The beer is still rubbish, the parking charge for going to the megastore is irritating, the improvements to the "match day experience" did not materialise. He didn’t listen to the fans or give them sound bites, The website is awful

Pros-

He didn’t ASK what customers wanted ...he just delivered what they REALLY wanted:

He saved the club
Delivered success
Built a future based on financial stability

Result = Over the moon - I don’t drink beer at half time but I get 5 minutes more premier league football.
He "got it" better than any other chairman in the league IMO. Synopsis; Cons He didn’t ask what people wanted: The beer is still rubbish, the parking charge for going to the megastore is irritating, the improvements to the "match day experience" did not materialise. He didn’t listen to the fans or give them sound bites, The website is awful Pros- He didn’t ASK what customers wanted ...he just delivered what they REALLY wanted: He saved the club Delivered success Built a future based on financial stability Result = Over the moon - I don’t drink beer at half time but I get 5 minutes more premier league football. Jesus_02
  • Score: 8

9:27am Fri 17 Jan 14

Barney123 says...

Surprised how badly written this article is. Is it reviewed by a sub-editor before publishing?
Surprised how badly written this article is. Is it reviewed by a sub-editor before publishing? Barney123
  • Score: 8

9:40am Fri 17 Jan 14

SaintAsh1964 says...

Let's not get to bleary eyed over what NC has done for the club, although he's certainly made massive changes to the way the club is run, the image, the infrastructure and our standing, he was using someone else's money, Leibherrs money, he was an employee doing his job, and being successful at it with an excellent team around him.
The fact of the matter is we spent Man City type money in League 1 standing to get promoted and it worked, we then done the same at Championship level and it worked, normally, if you throw money, lots of money, at a problem it's normally fixed, and it worked, but it was the Leibherrs signing the cheques.
The Academy has been a conveyor belt of talent for the last 30 odd years, thankfully, and due to continued investment it will continue to produce future world stars of tomorrow, but that was all in place, again extra funding will make the Academy and the training facilities possibly one of the best in Europe.
He may well be back under a different Owner, if the Leibherrs do decide to sell up and move on, or for all we know, the Leibherrs may want to carry on the job started by Marcus and take us on to the "next level", after all, big Corporations love free advertising and the EPL is a massive world wide brand and if your at the higher end of it all the better.
Nicola certainly p1$$ed off a lot of people who had been associated with the club for many years and that should not be forgotten either, and no doubt now that he has left more nasty stories will come to light, as it always does.
But Saints will carry on under one guise or another, thanks to his work and the Leibherrs $ we are in a strong financial position, in a good position in the League, have exciting youngsters from the Academy making the headlines for all the right reasons, have a good manager in place, for the time being anyway.
No doubt we could have done without all the negative press coverage and the anxiety that this has brought, especially at this time in the season, but we will carry on regardless because that is what we do.
UTS
Let's not get to bleary eyed over what NC has done for the club, although he's certainly made massive changes to the way the club is run, the image, the infrastructure and our standing, he was using someone else's money, Leibherrs money, he was an employee doing his job, and being successful at it with an excellent team around him. The fact of the matter is we spent Man City type money in League 1 standing to get promoted and it worked, we then done the same at Championship level and it worked, normally, if you throw money, lots of money, at a problem it's normally fixed, and it worked, but it was the Leibherrs signing the cheques. The Academy has been a conveyor belt of talent for the last 30 odd years, thankfully, and due to continued investment it will continue to produce future world stars of tomorrow, but that was all in place, again extra funding will make the Academy and the training facilities possibly one of the best in Europe. He may well be back under a different Owner, if the Leibherrs do decide to sell up and move on, or for all we know, the Leibherrs may want to carry on the job started by Marcus and take us on to the "next level", after all, big Corporations love free advertising and the EPL is a massive world wide brand and if your at the higher end of it all the better. Nicola certainly p1$$ed off a lot of people who had been associated with the club for many years and that should not be forgotten either, and no doubt now that he has left more nasty stories will come to light, as it always does. But Saints will carry on under one guise or another, thanks to his work and the Leibherrs $ we are in a strong financial position, in a good position in the League, have exciting youngsters from the Academy making the headlines for all the right reasons, have a good manager in place, for the time being anyway. No doubt we could have done without all the negative press coverage and the anxiety that this has brought, especially at this time in the season, but we will carry on regardless because that is what we do. UTS SaintAsh1964
  • Score: 1

10:01am Fri 17 Jan 14

Clever Dick says...

Not a hero or a villain.
A Saint in every way.
Not a hero or a villain. A Saint in every way. Clever Dick
  • Score: 6

10:19am Fri 17 Jan 14

Lat Te Mis says...

Shareholder wrote:
Nicola Cortese's biggest achievement was that he made Saints different. His whole approach, what he termed the Southampton Way, marked us out as different from any other Premier League Club. For an Italian born Swiss banker that way was distinctly English in that its focus was creating a team whose core was a group of young English players brought through an academy system the envy of every club in the land. Just how different was shown a few weeks ago when we fielded 8 English players in our team. Most of the top teams struggle to field a third that number. We're different because as things currently stand we could easily provide a third of more of the next generation of the English national team. Suddenly we're the club everybody in the football world wants to talk about. We're different because we've produced a model just about everybody wants to emulate. And we're different in the style of football we play. With our strongest team on the field we'll beat any team, only the weakness of the squad stops us sustaining that all season long. But Cortese and Pochettino recognised that and would have strengthened this summer. My fear now is that whether we stay a club owned by Katharina Liebherr or anyone else we'll revert to being just any other Premiership club. Or even worse we become yet another basket case like many others bought out in recent years. One thing for sure it's that if Nicola Cortese didn't quite grasp some of the emotion and deep societal knowledge of English football tradition the owner has an even weaker grasp; she it seems doesn't even like the game. This isn't the end of the world and it certainly isn't the disaster of some past board-room fall outs. We're still in a strong position and we're financially secure. But right now there's a certain sense of the inevitable in the air. Keeping the manager beyond the summer would seem a hard task to achieve given his comments yesterday and the football world is bound to be aghast that we've lost our most progressive and innovative Chairman. Nicola Cortese was different and he made the difference. I fear he was a one-off. Love him or hate him he made us different and in the most positive way possible. With his departure I feel our star has dimmed and the excitement for the fans will diminish. I'm not saying we're heading for disaster, I don't think we're anywhere near that. But I do think it's all going to be a little less interesting and little less fun. So thank you Nicola Cortese. You may not be the sort of person I'd want to go for a pint with but you're sure as Hell the person I'd want running my football club.
Absolutely fantastic!
I'd like to buy both of you a pint!
Thank you NC..... For everythng!
Now hurry the hell up and now purchase 'your baby'
COYRAWA
[quote][p][bold]Shareholder[/bold] wrote: Nicola Cortese's biggest achievement was that he made Saints different. His whole approach, what he termed the Southampton Way, marked us out as different from any other Premier League Club. For an Italian born Swiss banker that way was distinctly English in that its focus was creating a team whose core was a group of young English players brought through an academy system the envy of every club in the land. Just how different was shown a few weeks ago when we fielded 8 English players in our team. Most of the top teams struggle to field a third that number. We're different because as things currently stand we could easily provide a third of more of the next generation of the English national team. Suddenly we're the club everybody in the football world wants to talk about. We're different because we've produced a model just about everybody wants to emulate. And we're different in the style of football we play. With our strongest team on the field we'll beat any team, only the weakness of the squad stops us sustaining that all season long. But Cortese and Pochettino recognised that and would have strengthened this summer. My fear now is that whether we stay a club owned by Katharina Liebherr or anyone else we'll revert to being just any other Premiership club. Or even worse we become yet another basket case like many others bought out in recent years. One thing for sure it's that if Nicola Cortese didn't quite grasp some of the emotion and deep societal knowledge of English football tradition the owner has an even weaker grasp; she it seems doesn't even like the game. This isn't the end of the world and it certainly isn't the disaster of some past board-room fall outs. We're still in a strong position and we're financially secure. But right now there's a certain sense of the inevitable in the air. Keeping the manager beyond the summer would seem a hard task to achieve given his comments yesterday and the football world is bound to be aghast that we've lost our most progressive and innovative Chairman. Nicola Cortese was different and he made the difference. I fear he was a one-off. Love him or hate him he made us different and in the most positive way possible. With his departure I feel our star has dimmed and the excitement for the fans will diminish. I'm not saying we're heading for disaster, I don't think we're anywhere near that. But I do think it's all going to be a little less interesting and little less fun. So thank you Nicola Cortese. You may not be the sort of person I'd want to go for a pint with but you're sure as Hell the person I'd want running my football club.[/p][/quote]Absolutely fantastic! I'd like to buy both of you a pint! Thank you NC..... For everythng! Now hurry the hell up and now purchase 'your baby' COYRAWA Lat Te Mis
  • Score: 1

11:06am Fri 17 Jan 14

el caballo santos101 says...

why don't you have one of your famous polls DE. let the fans vote on what they think of this absolutely brilliant man who was the best chairman we could have asked for, not trying to influence anyone there. ;0)
why don't you have one of your famous polls DE. let the fans vote on what they think of this absolutely brilliant man who was the best chairman we could have asked for, not trying to influence anyone there. ;0) el caballo santos101
  • Score: -1

11:19am Fri 17 Jan 14

SaintJD says...

I think what the media, many fans and past players have never 'got' about Cortese is that he never lets anything stand in the way of progress. And if that means upsetting people, he was happy to do it.

For Cortese, any hint of looking back at past glories or celebrating past achievements was a distraction from the future, which was all he was worried about and all he wanted his staff to worry about.

He did this to the extent of almost trying to erase that history from sight and that upset people.

But for him there was no room for sentiment and frankly it was a plan that really was beginning to make Saints fans and players believe that there was no reason we couldn't make the step up.

The shirts, the falling our with former players, the refusal to go too mad about statues and tributes to Markus, continued that theme of relentlessly looking forward and almost breaking ties with anything that wasn't ahead of us.

And the other people he upset - the media generally - were people he saw as trying to implant and spread negativity and doubt about his vision.

And, let's face it, he had a point there too.

I think we've lost a great guy here and I'm absolutely gutted. Yes he's an unlikely hero, but while the more likeable, cuddly icons will get the statues, Cortese deserves his place as a Southampton hero and, let's face it, few chairman ever achieve that kind of affection.

I for one hope he returns because, if he does, you can be sure it will be with all the resources he needs to realise his ultimate vision.
I think what the media, many fans and past players have never 'got' about Cortese is that he never lets anything stand in the way of progress. And if that means upsetting people, he was happy to do it. For Cortese, any hint of looking back at past glories or celebrating past achievements was a distraction from the future, which was all he was worried about and all he wanted his staff to worry about. He did this to the extent of almost trying to erase that history from sight and that upset people. But for him there was no room for sentiment and frankly it was a plan that really was beginning to make Saints fans and players believe that there was no reason we couldn't make the step up. The shirts, the falling our with former players, the refusal to go too mad about statues and tributes to Markus, continued that theme of relentlessly looking forward and almost breaking ties with anything that wasn't ahead of us. And the other people he upset - the media generally - were people he saw as trying to implant and spread negativity and doubt about his vision. And, let's face it, he had a point there too. I think we've lost a great guy here and I'm absolutely gutted. Yes he's an unlikely hero, but while the more likeable, cuddly icons will get the statues, Cortese deserves his place as a Southampton hero and, let's face it, few chairman ever achieve that kind of affection. I for one hope he returns because, if he does, you can be sure it will be with all the resources he needs to realise his ultimate vision. SaintJD
  • Score: 1

1:24pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Little Hitler says...

SaintJD wrote:
I think what the media, many fans and past players have never 'got' about Cortese is that he never lets anything stand in the way of progress. And if that means upsetting people, he was happy to do it. For Cortese, any hint of looking back at past glories or celebrating past achievements was a distraction from the future, which was all he was worried about and all he wanted his staff to worry about. He did this to the extent of almost trying to erase that history from sight and that upset people. But for him there was no room for sentiment and frankly it was a plan that really was beginning to make Saints fans and players believe that there was no reason we couldn't make the step up. The shirts, the falling our with former players, the refusal to go too mad about statues and tributes to Markus, continued that theme of relentlessly looking forward and almost breaking ties with anything that wasn't ahead of us. And the other people he upset - the media generally - were people he saw as trying to implant and spread negativity and doubt about his vision. And, let's face it, he had a point there too. I think we've lost a great guy here and I'm absolutely gutted. Yes he's an unlikely hero, but while the more likeable, cuddly icons will get the statues, Cortese deserves his place as a Southampton hero and, let's face it, few chairman ever achieve that kind of affection. I for one hope he returns because, if he does, you can be sure it will be with all the resources he needs to realise his ultimate vision.
What a fine post, I think you've hit the nail firmly on the head with a quality brand of hammer. I really do agree with the 'looking forward not back' concept.

The things people disliked Cortese for were the very things that seperated us from the also-rans (Reading, West Ham etc.) and the has-beens (Portsmouth).

We owe him a great deal and I too can only hope that we see him back one day. I don't think it's likely though.
[quote][p][bold]SaintJD[/bold] wrote: I think what the media, many fans and past players have never 'got' about Cortese is that he never lets anything stand in the way of progress. And if that means upsetting people, he was happy to do it. For Cortese, any hint of looking back at past glories or celebrating past achievements was a distraction from the future, which was all he was worried about and all he wanted his staff to worry about. He did this to the extent of almost trying to erase that history from sight and that upset people. But for him there was no room for sentiment and frankly it was a plan that really was beginning to make Saints fans and players believe that there was no reason we couldn't make the step up. The shirts, the falling our with former players, the refusal to go too mad about statues and tributes to Markus, continued that theme of relentlessly looking forward and almost breaking ties with anything that wasn't ahead of us. And the other people he upset - the media generally - were people he saw as trying to implant and spread negativity and doubt about his vision. And, let's face it, he had a point there too. I think we've lost a great guy here and I'm absolutely gutted. Yes he's an unlikely hero, but while the more likeable, cuddly icons will get the statues, Cortese deserves his place as a Southampton hero and, let's face it, few chairman ever achieve that kind of affection. I for one hope he returns because, if he does, you can be sure it will be with all the resources he needs to realise his ultimate vision.[/p][/quote]What a fine post, I think you've hit the nail firmly on the head with a quality brand of hammer. I really do agree with the 'looking forward not back' concept. The things people disliked Cortese for were the very things that seperated us from the also-rans (Reading, West Ham etc.) and the has-beens (Portsmouth). We owe him a great deal and I too can only hope that we see him back one day. I don't think it's likely though. Little Hitler
  • Score: 1

12:36am Sat 18 Jan 14

Wozzie says...

We can hope the 'Don' comes back godspeed he does. More likely one of the big Champions League club will sign him with all the rest of our treasure chest. It's been a great revival though and the fish fiddlers will be in the conference league next year. We will be the pride of the South Coast for many years to come, lets hope she chooses well! Come on you Saints, F**k off you Skate C**ts
We can hope the 'Don' comes back godspeed he does. More likely one of the big Champions League club will sign him with all the rest of our treasure chest. It's been a great revival though and the fish fiddlers will be in the conference league next year. We will be the pride of the South Coast for many years to come, lets hope she chooses well! Come on you Saints, F**k off you Skate C**ts Wozzie
  • Score: 0

1:24am Sun 19 Jan 14

gr8saint says...

Wozzie wrote:
We can hope the 'Don' comes back godspeed he does. More likely one of the big Champions League club will sign him with all the rest of our treasure chest. It's been a great revival though and the fish fiddlers will be in the conference league next year. We will be the pride of the South Coast for many years to come, lets hope she chooses well! Come on you Saints, F**k off you Skate C**ts
Rumour has it that he's going to be back very soon! With a £175 million takeover bid from Wang Jianlin, making us the richest club in the Premier League!

Let's hope so!
[quote][p][bold]Wozzie[/bold] wrote: We can hope the 'Don' comes back godspeed he does. More likely one of the big Champions League club will sign him with all the rest of our treasure chest. It's been a great revival though and the fish fiddlers will be in the conference league next year. We will be the pride of the South Coast for many years to come, lets hope she chooses well! Come on you Saints, F**k off you Skate C**ts[/p][/quote]Rumour has it that he's going to be back very soon! With a £175 million takeover bid from Wang Jianlin, making us the richest club in the Premier League! Let's hope so! gr8saint
  • Score: 0

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