While news of the end of potential investment from China may have caused a ripple amongst Saints fans, it will be business as usual at St Mary’s. Indeed, it can be seen a vindication of policy for those running the club.

It took a statement to the Chinese stock exchange from Lander Sports to formally mark the end of their pursuit of at least a majority stake in Saints.

But in the corridors of power at the club they have always been ready for this.

Even though Lander Sports had been talking with representatives of Katharina Liebherr for some time, the trail had gone fairly cold.

An exclusivity period came and went in January and, aside from one flurry of excitement caused by what has proven to be an inaccurate national newspaper report, it has been radio silence.

If those outside were doing the maths on that, then those inside were more than aware of what that meant.

Is it a surprise? Not really.

Not only is China starting to retreat from its previous position of large overseas investments, particularly in sport, but this is not new territory for Saints.

From the very beginning, from the first mention of Lander Sports, those behind the scenes at the club have been keen to stress that this was no different from so many other talks that go on.

You can imagine the number of approaches that Liebherr’s people must get. Anybody who has ever been near such a situation can say with a high degree of confidence that all sorts of people crawl out of the woodwork.

Most of them have little hope of getting a deal done, but a large number of intermediaries try and pair together potential investors and potential sellers in the hope of earning themselves a cut.

But ask yourself how many such transactions you see coming to fruition. Hardly any.

While Lander did go further than many others, and their interest was seen as more serious, it was also never ‘the’ deal that many perhaps believed.

The only reason this one became such public knowledge was because of their status as a listed company in China, meaning they had to inform the stock exchange as to what was happening.

The majority of these conversations happen in total secrecy.

Indeed, you will find not even those at the very top at St Mary’s will know about many of them because, although it is the club being talked about, discussions are taking place with the owner of the company – Liebherr – rather than the club itself.

Even though a deal of around £210m for a stake of something around 80 per cent has collapsed, nothing changes at Saints.

That separation has helped, because it has allowed the likes of Gareth Rogers and his team running the club at ground level to just focus on making it the best they possibly can.

Thoughts of takeovers and the implications they might have financially are removed.

So even if the rumours of another potential Chinese or US investor lurking in the background are true, it won’t really matter on a day-to-day basis.

For evidence, simply wind back a month and the release of the club’s latest set of accounts.

Again they showed progress. Not only a profit but an increase in commercial revenue and a well thought out strategy of how to grow further.

Ultimately, this does help the value of the club when it comes to the owner selling, but more than that it proves the board have been sensibly planning aside from that possibility.

It’s why the lack of a takeover offer from Lander will not cause a dent at St Mary’s.

We cannot be sure whether or not Liebherr is disappointed, but we can be certain that it has no major bearing on the club as we speak today.

Liebherr has consistently insisted that she would only sell if it were in the club’s best interests.

Fans are starting to come to terms with the fact that she is not going to throw countless tens of millions at Saints to take the next step forward, which would be regular Champions League qualification. It simply won’t happen.

To find somebody prepared to stump up that kind of money, and not only that but in such a way that they can also guarantee the future financial prosperity of the club, is beyond tricky.

In the meantime Saints have to continue doing as they are, and that is living within their means. Being ambitious, making progress, but always with an eye on doing that in a prudent and responsible fashion.

For all supporters might argue over individual decisions, individual signings, and sometimes question ambition as a result, the numbers in those accounts speak for themselves.

Saints have been run responsibly by Rogers and co, and in reality the sort of things we might squabble about are pretty minor when you look at the bigger picture.

Football is not a sport that stands still, and is unforgiving to those that do.

The end of takeover talk, for now at least, means that while Saints might not make the sudden giant leaps forward that is the stuff of dreams, fans can at least be content that the baby steps ahead will keep on coming, which should be both a solace and also encouraging.