FINANCE expert Doctor Dan Plumley insists that Saints will still “have to balance the situation,” and “make more savvy business deals,” despite new ownership Sport Republic.

The football financial guru and senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University has assessed Saints’ financial fair play figures from 2020 and 2021, which will still play a leading role in how they are able to operate in the short-term.

Sport Republic, co-founded by lead investor Dragan Solak, acquired former owner Gao Jisheng’s 80% share and bring with them a new era.

Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted that their transfer strategy would not change under new ownership, but added Saints are now in a position where they can spend to move early on targets even this January.

And discussing profit and sustainability rules as well as the lasting fallout of the COVID pandemic, Plumley offered Football Insider his prediction for Saints’ short-term future.

“The new owners still have to face FFP and the pandemic,” he said. “Looking at their FFP figures, they look okay. They had a £28.6m surplus before the pandemic.

Daily Echo: Ralph Hasenhuttl says the club are targeting more Tino Livramento-style dealsRalph Hasenhuttl says the club are targeting more Tino Livramento-style deals

“Like all clubs, they had a big loss in 2020, £64m. But FFP is averaged out over 2020 and 2021 and that counts as one financial year in the rolling three-year block.

“They are not in a position to get into an arms race for players because they are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic.”

He continued: “It’s about to get worse before it gets better. They can’t compete with the elite clubs in the transfer market, so they have to do things a slightly different way.

“That might mean more savvy business deals. I don’t think there is pressure on them to sell, but they have to balance the situation with what is going on more widely.“

Saints have already been linked to a number of younger players so far this January transfer window, although there has been nothing concrete. 

Hasenhuttl has made his clear the club's intention to continue their model of making affordable transfers with the view of developing themselves.