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Zero intention to sell Southampton FC says new chairman Ralph Krueger
New Saints chairman Ralph Krueger has revealed there is no intention of the club being sold, while he confirmed he has already held positive talks with manager Mauricio Pochettino.
The 54-year-old was unveiled at St Mary’s this afternoon, before speaking to the media on a wide range of issues.
One of those was the speculation, which followed former chairman Nicola Cortese’s departure from the club in January, that owner Katharina Liebherr wanted to sell Saints.
Krueger said there was “zero” intention for that to happen.
The former professional ice hockey player and coach added: “I wouldn’t be sitting here with a one-month vision, that wouldn’t work, because I’ve really done things always with long-term vision.
“Anything I’ve thrown myself into I don’t believe in a short kind of stint.”
He also revealed that Liebherr had enjoyed her role as owner and her increased involvement in the club far more than even she had expected.
“She cares. She has always cared, and this has always been a special organisation, and she really, really cares about what happens here and she is very conscious of every single word that is being communicated," he said.
"The warmth with which she has been received here has been a beautiful thing to watch, because that was an unknown and the people of Southampton, the fanbase, they just get it.
"They totally get it, and that was amazing to witness, because there was no campaign behind it or no public relations track that she was on.
"It was all less is more, let’s stay quiet and let it evolve naturally and organically. So, yes, she’s very pleased with what’s been happening here in the last few months."
One of the first matters that supporters will be keen to see Krueger turn his attention to is the contract of Pochettino, whose current deal expires at the end of next season.
Krueger would not confirm if negotiations over a new contract had begun, but he said he has already enjoyed some good dialogue with the Argentine.
“I think I have been clear that my conversations with Mauricio have been positive and I would like to leave it like that today,” he said.
While his background is in another sport, Krueger will not be a Sir Clive Woodward-style figure and will not interfere with Pochettino's work with the team.
"One of the things I definitely know is what Mauricio needs,” he said.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to give him the political support that a manager with his character and personality needs so that he can work without any distraction.
“I want him to go there every single day without distractions. That is my job, to take away the distractions that can bring him or the team away from focusing on what really counts and that is playing to their potential.
“I ran into many of those political situations in my careers that were difficult and painful. I will make sure that doesn't happen here.
“Mauricio and I had these conversations. We actually had a good trip to the England match against Denmark and it was great the traffic was horrible.
“It took three hours to get there, three hours to get back. All the managers together in a van.
“Mauricio was basically sat on my lap because we had no space. Toni was stuck in the front because he was the biggest.
“We have maybe had four or five situations like that that were very natural, not forced. I was able to feel the spirit of that management group running that team.
“There is a really, really good leadership group there. Strong, solid. They are very good people but they are very talented.”
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