The future according to Liebherr


The dust has settled, more dust has been kicked up and us Saints fans no longer have the Sword of Damocles – more commonly known as liquidation – hanging over us. Instead, we have the far more familiar upheaval of searching for a new manager to be getting on with. Being a Southampton fan is never dull.

To be fair, we haven’t had a proper speculation season on a new manager since Burley took his baffling substitutions to Hampden Park.

So while supporters come up with fanciful, terrifying and downright odd suggestions (Ivan Golac is my personal favourite) for the man who will be pinning the team sheet to the St Mary’s wall next year, the men entrusted by new owner Markus Liebherr go about the serious work of trying to find someone competent yet foolhardy enough to take the job on.

The problem I have is that we simply have no idea of what Liebherr (or rather, Nicola Cortese and Andy Oldknow) are after. Discipline? Continental flair? A big name?

Not. A. Scooby.

An interview with Cortese certainly provided something of an insight, but as with anything like this, it is easy to read far too much in to it. After all, he had barely got his feet under the desk so you’d imagine that by now he’s got a firmer grasp of exactly what is wanted – and needed.

Still, I do love the ‘in the know’ rumours – which of course, almost without fail are so wide of the mark they make the Sunday Sport look on the money – flying around. Between the comments on the Echo’s stories and SaintsWeb:
– Strachan has already supposed to have been unveiled three times,
– Tony Adams has single handedly engineered his odds with subtle betting patterns, and
– Darren Ferguson would love the chance to drop down a division and leave upwardly mobile Peterborough for the chance to work with the talents of Anthony Pulis.

It keeps those few quiet moments at work interesting, at least.

When will it end for Saints?

The rear of the Chapel Stand, St Marys Stadium, Southampton

The rear of the Chapel Stand, St Mary's Stadium, Southampton - © Dan Kerins 2008

The whole sorry affair of Southampton FC is hopefully moving towards something resembling resolution, judging by some of the things being said at the moment.

While it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing investment of Paul Allen proportions, at least the administration debacle should be behind us and we can start afresh (appeals not withstanding) regardless of who the owner is – although us Southampton fans know that not just anyone should be welcomed into the board room.

However, the new owner certainly won’t be the council – as proposed in a column in the Telegraph. They’ve said they are interested in the stadium, which is not something I have a problem with – but the club itself would probably be a step too far for the electorate to stomach.

But after reading the piece, it brings up almost utopian visions of what could be if British football clubs were run for the benefit of the community rather than the pursuit of profit. Like I said, it’s never going to happen, but the possibilities are certainly worth pondering.