ANDY Oldknow has returned to Saints and declared “this is a clean break for everyone”.

The man who was appointed as commercial director after Michael Wilde took over but subsequently left St Mary’s along with chief executive Jim Hone and chairman Ken Dulieu when the SISU deal was blocked and with no other outside investment forthcoming, is back as part of the Markus Liebherr takeover as chief operations officer.

He will be responsible for business operations, stadium operations and will aid on the football side as requested.

He said: “I am back here because the project I was introduced to ticks all the right boxes for Southampton Football Club and the community at large and is something I wanted to be involved with.

“I enjoyed my time here before.

We presented a solution as everyone knows and at the time those who were charged with the running of the club decided that wasn’t what they wanted to do so I felt we couldn’t go any further.

“Unfortunately time has illustrated that the underlying problems which we identified were there.

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“But that’s the past and this is a clean break for everyone.

“What Markus brings to this equation is professionalism, a considered approach to the development of the club, a real commitment to be a good corporate citizen and I think in terms of style and the way he wants to push the club forward and the professionalism to day to day operations in my view is absolutely in sync with what the club needs to do to be successful.

“I am delighted to be part of that equation.”