YOU can understand the outpouring of anger. Of course you can.

Saints fans had just seen their club claim an eighth placed finish in the Premier League, equalling their best ever campaign since the 1992 rebranding.

Previously, the club had finished eighth in 2002/03. The following summer they lost their home-grown England international left back to Chelsea for £7m (Wayne Bridge).

This year, Saints have again lost their home-grown England international left back (Luke Shaw) for mega millions.

Sadly, that is not all they’ve lost.

Shaw has gone. So has the creative talents of skipper Adam Lallana. So has the talismanic striker Rickie Lambert.

As of 10pm last night, so has centre half Dejan Lovren. That was the time his move to Anfield, after only one season at St Mary’s, was officially announced.

That’s four out, with more to come.

Calum Chambers, another home produced full back, could soon be on his way for more money than Newcastle once paid for Alan Shearer to make the ex-Saint the most expensive player in British football history.

No wonder, then, that the story the Daily Echo broke online on Friday night that Arsenal were about to swoop for Chambers is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Almost 800 comments were posted online about that story over the weekend, the highest amount of postings on a single Daily Echo story in the newspaper’s online history.

For comparison purposes, there were 216 on the story back in January concerning chairman Nicola Cortese’s resignation, and ‘only’ 136 on the story in May that Mauricio Pochettino had resigned.

The vast majority of supporters who commented were outraged.

Outraged that a board, who had previously told them that players would be held to their contracts, would consider selling another academy graduate.

Outraged that with only two new signings so far and the 2014/15 season fast approaching, Ronald Koeman faces a monumental task to produce a successful team from the mess he has inherited.

Owner Katharina Liebherr’s intentions were questioned by many. Is she about to sell the club, many asked?

Technical director Les Reed will be well advised not to log on and read the comments, as he received a shedful of abuse regarding his comments about players being held to contracts etc.

Morgan Schneiderlin could also be leaving soon, and his departure would be a further slap in the face for Saints fans as their record-breaking side is picked apart by the big-spending Premier League vultures from Manchester, Merseyside and North London.

What kind of carcass will be left on the side of Brittania Road when this unprecendented summer of transfer madness is finally over?

That is a good question to ask at this moment in time.

Among all the comments of fans demanding their season ticket monies be refunded and possible matchday boycotts, there were some supporters confessing to the reality of Saints’ unfortunate situation.

“Let’s get real,” wrote Tony from Liberia (who now lives in Rwanda).

“The reason people are buying our players is because, by some weird and probably never to be repeated freak of nature, we happen to have a load of players at one time who are good enough to play for the top four, and the top four have come and got them.

“There's a pecking order in the game, and it's dictated by money - not how much you've got, but how much you can pay the players.

“We CANNOT compete with the top six on wages, and the way the game is now organised we probably never will.”

Tony’s comments were a sane and sensible offering to an times furious debate surrounding Saints and their ambitions, or perceived lack of them.

“There is no way that anyone at the club could stop what's happening from happening, and it’s pointless to stamp our feet and demand that they do,” he added. “All clubs are selling clubs when the player wants to leave, and the buying club has enough money.

“You don’t believe me? Look at Athletico Madrid.”

Fair point. They won La Liga and were a minute away from winning the Champions League last season, but in the last few weeks two of their top players have left for Chelsea – who didn’t win anything in 2013/14 – and Diego Costa and Filipe Luis won’t have taken a pay cut to move to west London.

Saints’ problem is obvious.

On the face of it, £16m for a young full back who is not a regular in the first team is a great bit of business.

Selling a teenage left back for almost £30m is a great bit of business.

Getting over £4m for a 32-year-old striker with his best days probably behind him is a great bit of business.

Buying a centre half or £8.5m one summer and selling him for £20m 12 months later is, yes you’ve guess it, a great bit of business.

Individually, the club have done well to sell for those huge sums.

Taken together, though, it’s a far different story.

The overall picture being painted at St Mary’s now screams ‘we’re not a selling club, but if you offer enough then we will probably sell’.

What must potential new signings be thinking when they see the club’s board selling off the crown jewels left (back), right (back) and centre (half)?

What must senior professionals like Schneiderlin, Jack Cork and Jose Fonte be thinking?

It has got to the stage now where it would be amazing if Schneiderlin actually staued at St Mary’s.

He has never publicly said he wants to leave – unlike the brainless Lovren – but Saints need to do something quickly to make him stay.

Like sign a few more international standard players.

And sign them quickly.

As for Cork and Fonte, they are out of contract next summer. New deals will surely be offered, but you could easily understand it if the pair didn’t rush to sign anything put in front of them.

Would you, if you were in their shoes?

Tony from Rwanda is spot on when he visited the Echo website over the weekend to write: “There’s no big conspiracy, no hidden agenda - we are just a victim of our own success.

“This is football, and we're stuck with it. Unless we find a way to change the Premier league, which we could do if we all stopped buying the product, going to games, getting Sky subscriptions, which isn't going to happen.”

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again now.

The Premier League is to blame for the mass exodus at Saints this summer.

Rupert Murdoch’s cash cow is milking Saints dry in terms of their stellar names.

The elite clubs in England have enough money to stockpile players, creating massive squads in the process and being rich enough to pay them all obscene salaries.

They can spend millions on their own academies, but if they aren’t happy with their own home-grown players they can just phone up Saints and buy theirs.

Arsenal signed Theo Walcott from Saints aged 16, they signed Alex Chamberlain from Saints aged 17, they could now sign Calum Chambers aged 19.

They will probably be linked with Matt Targett soon.

It’s not fair on Saints that Arsenal can do this.

But Arsenal will say it’s not fair that they can continually lose their top players to Manchester City – Bacary Sagna this summer, following the likes of Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Kolo Toure.

That is the way football’s financial heirarchy works.

A few weeks ago, in these very pages, I wrote that Saints fans shouldn’t be worried that their very best players want to join some of the biggest names in world football, let alone English football.

I still stand by that.

The day that Jack Cork and Jose Fonte turn down new deals to sign for QPR or Cardiff City ...

... that is the day Saints supporters should really start to get concerned.