Katharina Liebherr reassures Southampton fans in open letter

Southampton Football Club

Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr has written a letter to Southampton fans in a bid to ease concerns that are lingering over the club's future.

In an attempt to clear the air and ease any concerns over the future of Southampton Football Club, owner and non-executive chairman Katharina Liebherr has addressed an open letter to supports of the Hampshire club.

Released on Tuesday evening, Liebherr's letter outlined her ambition for the club moving forward.

Once again, she reiterated her support for club manager Mauricio Pochettino and vowed not to sell any of the club's first team squad in the January transfer window.

"I am absolutely committed to ensuring that the club continues this success. I have met our manager Mauricio Pochettino and have given him my complete support to build on the good work that has already been achieved." Katharina Liebherr revealed.

It is the first time she has spoken at length about the club she inherited following the death of her father, Markus Liebherr, in 2010.

She placed on record that she is "delighted" and "proud" of the club's "exhilarating" success, in terms of what it has achieved since her father bought the club in July 2009. During that time it has obtained two promotions, won the Football League Trophy and at current holds a top-half position in the Premier League.

Liebherr also underlined her belief that the success of the club had been contributed to by the "unstinting support" of the Saints fans.

"After the developments of last week, my priority now is to bring some stability and calm to the workings of the club; perhaps a few smiles too. Off the pitch, my priority is to establish the proper running of the club at the top." Liebherr said.

That final comment may be viewed as a side-swipe at former Executive Chairman Nicola Cortese, who was extremely autocratic in his approach to the governance of the club. He notably upset several figures related to Southampton Football Club, as well as alienating sections of the media and fan-base with his actions.

Whilst Cortese may have been reticent in his approach, Liebherr has pledged a new era of openness and transparency with the club's fan-base.

"As soon as we have more news to share, we will do so. We are looking to the future with a determination to create a culture based on open communication, respect and hard work."

Liebherr described the last week as "a period of transition", as she continues in her role of non-executive chairman. She is widely expected to confirm the appointment of former Blackburn Rovers chairman John Williams as the club's new Chief Executive before the week is out.

She is thought to be keen on a new, more accountable boardroom set-up, chaired by Williams. Les Reed is expected to remain at the club in his current role as Head of Football Development.

It is thought team advisor to the Canadian Winter Olympics set-up, Ralph Krueger, could join the board in a non-executive role in order to provide his expertise on approaches to improving the performance of elite athletes.

Liebherr steered fans away from the negative press surrounding the club in light of recent events, instead focusing the fans on the successes of the club in recent years.

"We are now in the top half one of the most competitive leagues in the world, playing attractive football with a young and ambitious team, and poised to move into world-class training facilities. We have much to be thankful for."

One particular tradition that the Swiss businesswoman remains keen on upholding is that of the Southampton academy. She recognised and celebrated the success of the academy system, before claiming that she was excited at how the current crop of academy prospects are set to flourish.

The statement finished with a strong message from Katharina Liebherr, which was that any decision she makes will have the best interests of the staff, players and fans at the very heart.

"Finally, let me say this. I will ensure that all decisions made about the future of the club will be in the best interests of its staff, players, management and fans and will be taken with the prime objective of honouring and maintaining the club's heritage and tradition in the Southampton way."

The letter is in-keeping with her initial statement upon Nicola Cortese's resignation, within which she asserted his belief that it would simply be "business as usual" for the Saints.

Announcements on the make-up of the boardroom at St. Mary's are expected in due course.

image: © ingythewingy

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