Saints are confident that Gao Jisheng’s commitment to the club will not waver despite him losing control of Lander Sports.

The Chinese business mogul, who 18 months ago paid Katharina Liebherr £210m for an 80 per cent stake in the club, has lost a controlling interest in his Lander Sports company after a major share sale.

The news has sparked concern among some Saints fans who fear the club could quickly change hands and uncertainty as to whether this means Gao will retreat from his majority stake at St Mary’s.

However, the Daily Echo understands that club were informed of the Lander developments ahead of time and were told Gao was simply restricting his business portfolio and remained committed to Saints.

Though Gao has not been paid a particularly heady price per share for a large chunk of the holding in Lander, it has still significantly increased his personal wealth.

But any thoughts that the cash might make its way to St Mary’s looks optimistic as it is still business as usual at Saints.

That means Gao allowing the club to run in a self-sustaining manner and refusing to withdraw any profits, instead allowing Ralph Krueger and his team to reinvest them. At the same time there is not likely to be external investment forthcoming.

Saints are owned by Gao and Liebherr in personal capacities meaning the change in ownership structure at Gao’s Chinese company Lander Sports doesn’t have an impact on the club.

During the initial talks Lander Sports was to be the investment arm used to take control of Saints, but after a litany of problems Gao changed course and funded the move himself.

He set up a separate company, also called Lander, but based in the UK, with which to make the personal investment and to acquire Saints, and the ownership of that business, which is not a listed company, remains unchanged.

The worry caused by these events, though largely unfounded, does go to again underline the difficulty Saints have in persuading fans as to Gao’s intentions when he has refused to speak at all about his aims or ambitions since taking control in August 2017.

It has instead been left to Ralph Krueger to field questions, however, his answers have lacked any detail.

He has insisted that Gao has made a significant investment by buying the club, which underlines his belief in it, and therefore supporters should have faith with regards why he has bought it, how it has been funded and what he intends for it.

Krueger has also used the argument that Gao is a very private man.

However, that looks increasingly unsustainable, given not only is he the owner of a high-profile Premier League football club who attends matches but has also recently given a journalist access to his family for an interview about other matters and last week had a public visit to Westminster to speak with Eastleigh MP Mims Davies, which was tweeted about.