Saints’ new board will “do everything” to retain their best players, according to chairman Ralph Krueger.

This summer will be a key period at St Mary’s, with speculation already surrounding the future of some of the club's top stars.

New chairman Krueger said Saints would live within their means, but that they would also fight as hard as they could to keep their best talent in place.

Krueger, during his first meeting with the media as chairman, spoke at length about improving the club’s commercial standing, saying that would be valuable in terms of being able to retain their top players.

“That’s where the commercial growth comes in, so it’s a complicated answer because, once again, we need to work within our means,” he said.

“Everybody has to know that – we will work within our means.

“We will have a healthy organisation with no shortcuts. We are going to earn every single thing we do here, and we’re going to have to pay a price for that.

“You get nothing for free in this sport, because if you’re doing things with shortcuts and you’re looking for an easy street in major league sports, that tree will fall over. Those roots are unhealthy “So we want to build strong roots, we want to build a strong foundation and then, within that, we will do everything possible to retain the players as long as possible.

“We’re going to be transparent, but it’s too early in the process to specify what that means.”