Pochettino backing for Cortese
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he will follow Nicola Cortese out of the club should the executive chairman leave.
The Italian businessman is understood to be considering his position at Saints due to frustrations over the backing he receives. Cortese, who has overseen Saints rise from League One to the top flight, wants the Liebherr trust to underwrite his strategy for Southampton to consolidate themselves in the Premier League.
The executive chairman will make a decision on whether to remain at the club within the next month and manager Pochettino has confirmed if Cortese leaves, so will he. Asked if he would be staying if Cortese left, the Argentinian said: "Of course not, because the person that has put his faith in me in this club and as a manager is Nicola Cortese.
"Nicola Cortese has basically been the reality at Southampton for the past four years.
"Of course, the people that are in the club, that are part of the club, that are behind the scenes in the club were a little bit worried about what has been said. Me on a personal sense, I would not understand a Southampton without Nicola being here."¼
A source close to Cortese, who has overseen Saints' rise from League One to the top flight, said he will make a decision on whether to remain as chairman within the next month. It is understood Cortese's current frustration centres on those in charge of the trust knowing little about football and not committing themselves to his plans.
Cortese has told the trust he wants to take Southampton to the next level and wants them to support his strategy for doing so, including committing itself to underwriting some modest investment.
Cortese feels he has proved he has handled the club well and his decision, controversial at the time, to replace Nigel Adkins with Pochettino four months ago has paid off with the Saints having secured Premier League status for next season.
Cortese was instrumental in the purchase of Southampton in 2009 by Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr, who died suddenly the following year.
When I first arrived here, nobody knew who Mauricio Pochettino was," the Saints boss added. "Nicola put his faith in me and knew me from way, way back. When I got to know his project, we were basically on the same wavelength as to what we wanted for Southampton in the future. Basically, my future in Southampton has to be with Nicola."