Football: Lowe attacks Souness

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Southampton chairman-elect Rupert Lowe yesterday gave the club's side of the story behind the surprise resignations of Graeme Souness and Lawrie McMenemy last weekend.

Souness, the Saints manager, and McMenemy, the director of football quit amid rumours that Lowe had limited Southampton's summer spending to around pounds 2m, rather than the pounds 7m that Souness had sought.

In an open letter to disgruntled fans, Lowe, who has just taken over as chairman from Guy Askam following Southampton's Stock Market flotation, insists that while "the club has a cash balance towards the lower end of this range", there was no such limit and that the club's "purchasing power is significantly higher". Lowe says the cash row was a "red herring".

Lowe also points out that Souness has already spent pounds 6.8m strengthening his squad. Lowe goes on to claim that the subsequent transfer request made by Southampton's Israeli international Eyal Berkovic was not sparked by Souness's departures.

Harry Redknapp, the West Ham manager, yesterday admitted his interest in Berkovic, but denied that a deal is imminent.