Future of Mauricio Pochettino thrown into doubt as Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese resigns
Cortese was understood to be at loggerheads with club owner Katharina Liebherr over the demands of running the club that have significantly increased since their Premier League return
Wednesday 15 January 2014
The prospect of Mauricio Pochettino staying on as Southampton manager is in doubt after executive chairman Nicola Cortese's departure was confirmed.
On a day of politics and confusion at St Mary's, a statement released by the club at 7pm brought an end to the Italian banker's reign after more than four years at the helm.
A collapse in Cortese's relationship with owner Katharina Liebherr – who will now become non-executive chairman for the South Coast club – is believed to be the main reason for his resignation after rumours of disagreements between the pair emerged late on Tuesday night.
"With great regret we have accepted the resignation of Mr Cortese," read a club statement. "He has done a wonderful job at the club and we very much wanted him to stay."
With Pochettino known to be a major ally of the departed chairman, the club may soon be looking for a new manager too. Cortese has not always been loved by the fans – not least because of the change in kit colours from red-and-white stripes to plain red – but he was close to Pochettino.
Cortese made the controversial decision to replace Nigel Adkins, who guided them to promotion in 2012, with Pochettino in January last year but since then Southampton have improved and sit in ninth place in the Premier League.
When asked about Cortese's position last year, Pochettino was clear how supportive he was of the Italian, raising questions over his future should Cortese leave.
"I would not understand a Southampton without Nicola being here," Pochettino said. "The person who actually called me from the start, told me about the project and put his faith in me, in this club and as a manager was Nicola. Nicola Cortese has basically been the reality at Southampton for the past four years."
In 2009 Cortese conducted the deal to buy Southampton from the administrators on behalf on Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr. His death in 2010 led to his daughter Katharina taking a more active role. Cortese almost left at the end of last season after reportedly falling out with her.
It was suggested that Manchester United would test the club's resolve by putting in bids for England midfielder Adam Lallana and highly rated left-back Luke Shaw – who tweeted he was "gutted" at the news – while West Ham could put in a second bid for striker Rickie Lambert.
As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity
Savoury patisserie is a thing now
Meet the primary school where every day is National Poetry Day
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
Striker ignored Brendan Rodger's request to applaud audience
Latest in Sport
Arsene Wenger 18th anniversary at Arsenal: His WORST signings XI during his time with the Gunners
Arsene Wenger's worst signings XI
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Nani: On loan Sporting Lisbon winger admits he may not return to Manchester United
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 4 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so