Finally some good news for Rishi Sunak after his football team Southampton secures promotion

The prime minister’s beloved Saints have secured promotion after a dramatic Championship play-off final

Sian Elvin
Sunday 26 May 2024 20:37 BST
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Rishi Sunak was spotted watching the Championship play-off semi-final just before his general election announcement
Rishi Sunak was spotted watching the Championship play-off semi-final just before his general election announcement (PA Wire)

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It has been a rollercoaster of a couple of years to be a Southampton fan - from the lows of regulation last season, to a thrilling rise up the Championship this season.

But Rishi Sunak’s beloved Saints won a dramatic play-off final on Sunday to secure promotion to the Premier League.

It finally marks some good news for the prime minister after his own rollercoaster start to his general election campaign, which saw him drenched in rain when announcing the July 4 date and a mass exodus of MPs has left his party scrambling for candidates.

Following the victory, he wrote on X: “We’re back,” adding three clapping hands emojis.

The Conservative Party leader had laughed off being asked earlier this week whether he would prefer to see Southampton promoted or win the general election.

Mr Sunak did however score an own goal at the start of his campaign after asking workers at a Welsh brewery whether they were looking forward to the football later this summer as a potential source of revenue - despite Wales not qualifying for the Euro 2024 tournament.

The PM was spotted in the stands just days before his election announcement watching Southampton take on West Brom in the Championship play-off semi-final.

The self-described “massive Saints fan” was seen standing and clapping, wearing a black hoodie emblazoned with “Saints 85” in red.

Jack Stephens of Southampton lifts the Sky Bet Championship play-off final trophy after his team's victory today
Jack Stephens of Southampton lifts the Sky Bet Championship play-off final trophy after his team's victory today (Getty Images)

He told GB News: “Well, it was great to be at St Mary’s on Friday night with my family.

“I have never experienced an atmosphere like that at St Mary’s, for years at least. It was really brilliant, I am really delighted for everyone.

“I am looking forward to Sunday, hoping Che Adams is fit and we can march back up to the Premier League. Here we come.”

He said in April he was hoping for a “trip to Wembley” at the end of the football season to watch his team in the play-offs - but presumably he was too busy concentrating on his campaign to attend.

Mr Sunak, who was born in Southampton, has previously said he would be a “very happy man” if he could run his club.

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