It would be “a crying shame” if Nicola Cortese leaves Saints.

That is the view of Mike O’Callaghan, the chairman of the Southampton Independent Supporters Association, on a day of hectic speculation surrounding the St Mary’s chairman.

Cortese is understood to be on the brink of resigning because of an “irretrievable breakdown” with the Liebherr family, the club’s owners.

Last summer, Cortese was persuaded to stay on after a similar fall-out, but it appears as though executive chairman Cortese may now be ready to end his time with the club.

O’Callaghan, a fan since the early 1970s, said: “Cortese’s got his faults, certainly the way he dealt with Nigel Adkins and he doesn’t interact with the supporters as well as other clubs, who have regular fans’ forums.

“But otherwise I can’t fault him for the way he’s run the club.

“We got promoted a year ahead of schedule and we’re still ninth in the table after a blip.

“That’s how much things have changed. He’s done a magnificent job running Southampton Football Club as a business.

“It’s a great shame if he’s not getting on with the Liebherrs because he’s taken the club in the right direction.

“The way he got rid of Adkins lacked class but Pochettino has improved the team and we’re now an established Premier League club.

“It would be a crying shame if he were to go because we’re now a forward-thinking modern club moving in the eight direction.

“We’re setting the standards, half the team is English, and we’ve got new training facilities being built.”