Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino’s future as Southampton boss appears to be in serious doubt, following the resignation of Chairman Nicola Cortese on Wednesday.
Cortese’s resignation had been accepted and that their owner Katharina Liebherr had taken on the role of non-executive chairman, with the search having begun for a new chief executive officer.
Reports have suggested Cortese actually tendered his resignation earlier this season in the autumn and there was talk of the 45-year-old Italian considering his position back in May.
The Argentine manager, who was appointed under Cortese in the January of 2013, also stated that he would leave the South Coast side, if Cortese left his position of Chairman.
”I would not understand staying in this role if Nicola was not here.
”I have great respect as well for Southampton, the club and the supporters, but Nicola has been the one that has placed his trust and faith in me.
”We are on the same wavelength about the club and the future of the club so it really would not make any sense if I was at this club and he was not.”
Pochettino has impressed during his time on the South Coast, bringing free flowing attacking football to St Mary’s, as Southampton enjoyed a superb start to the Barclays Premier League campaign.
Saints supporters will now be worried that the likes of Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, James Ward Prowse, Jay Rodriguez and Ricky Lambert will all be temped away from Southampton in the next few weeks, following the turmoil on the South Coast.
Liebherr said in the statement on Wednesday: ”It is business as usual and we will ensure that the manager, team and staff at the club have all the help and support they need.”
She also said Cortese’s resignation had been accepted “with great regret”, that he had “done a wonderful job” and that Southampton “very much wanted him to stay.”
Saints full back Luke Shaw, a reported target for a number of major Premier League clubs, gave his reaction to Cortese’s departure in a message on Twitter, writing: ”Gutted with that news, but would just like to thank Nicola Cortese for everything he has done for me and the club! All the best to him!”
Cortese took over the club in 2009, with the club in Administration, and strugglimg in League One, and oversaw back to back promotions, with the Saints becoming a stable Premier League side under Pochettino.
By Ben Reardon