Saints are confident that the final phase of the redevelopment of their Staplewood training ground will not take the project beyond the £40m mark.

Chief executive Gareth Rogers estimated that figure two years ago, and is sticking by it as the club plan the third and final part of the renovations – a permanent new home for the club’s academy.

He said: “When we spoke two years ago we estimated around £40m and it probably will be at that £40m mark.

“If it goes a tiny bit over then so be it, but we are talking £1m here or there. It might be a tiny bit under that.

“We are in the planning phase and looking at what we need to do, how we need to build it, how do we future proof it so we don’t have to build it again.

“Yes we have a budget and we don’t expect it to go significantly over what we set two years ago because that is how the business is run now.”

Saints have made significant investments in a range of things away from the first team, including growing their staffing numbers to 334.

“The players are the things people focus on, but purely from a staffing perspective, our staffing levels have gone up I think 80 permanent contracted staff in the last year,” explained Rogers. “That is a significant investment and they are in every facet of the club.

“With Virgin Media we have put investment into our fan hubs, the training ground continues to develop and now we are in phase three.

“The website is a quantum leap forward from where it was before and we all know we were in a contract that was difficult to get out of and pre-dates my time at the club.

“That was no small investment. I think that was £1.8m in total and the infrastructure investment in the system of the clubs. The retail system will come online with the new website and the ticketing system will develop and grow.

“We want to put our fans, our customers, our partners, at the heart of what we do. That takes time and investment.”