Nicola Cortese is set to quit St Mary’s in the coming days with Katharina Liebherr taking charge of the club, according to reports.
Katharina, daughter of the late Swiss billionaire Markus Liebherr whose takeover in 2009 rescued Saints from administration, is reportedly set to become the new chairman.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino, who stated in the summer that he would leave the club if Cortese went, is said to be considering quitting too.
As reported previously on dailyecho.co.uk, Cortese has been preparing to walk out after what a source close to the top at Saints told the Daily Echo was ‘irretrievable breakdown’ in relations with the Liebherr estate who own the club.
The reports this evening also stated that Cortese tendered his resignation some time ago - though speculation he had resigned today had been slapped down by officials - and has been serving out the remainder of his contract ever since.
However, the reports also suggest a degree of brinkmanship as they state a late change of heart from Liebherr’s could still stave this off.
The reason for the breakdown revolves around still largely unresolved issues from when Cortese almost went in the summer.
Back then an interim agreement was struck over the future of the club, and Cortese’s contract, which convinced both parties to agree a deal to keep the former Swiss banker at St Mary’s.
Discussions over a long term strategy for the club to replace the interim agreement have been ongoing but there appears to be some way between the two parties. That has prompted Cortese to again consider his future.
The Daily Echo understand that chief amongst the disagreements are the potential sale of the club and a desire for a representative of the Liebherr estate to take a seat on the board,