Tuesday 24 October 2017

Saints 'won't sell young stars'

Southampton will not be forced to sell any star players such as England midfielder Adam Lallana, bottom
Southampton will not be forced to sell any star players such as England midfielder Adam Lallana, bottom

Southampton's new director Hans Hofstetter has insisted the club's financial situation means none of Saints' much-admired young England stars will have to be sold in the summer.

The club's holding company has announced annual figures which have seen revenues rise from £22.9million in 2012 to £71.8million last season, mainly due to Premier League broadcasting income.

Losses before income and tax were £6.6million, down from £11.9million - the club did not state the full losses after tax - while there is also an outstanding transfer debt of £27million.

Hofstetter insisted that players such as Luke Shaw, Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana will not be sold if manager Mauricio Pochettino wants to keep them.

He told BBC Radio Solent: "The most important point is that we are in a position where we do not need to sell any player Mauricio (Pochettino) wants to keep.

"We have a very strong squad and we are still in a situation where we are free enough to act quickly if quick action is asked from us."

Hofstetter was appointed as a director shortly after Nicola Cortese resigned as chairman in January, to be replaced by Ralph Krueger.

In a club statement announcing the annual results, Hofstetter said they had inherited a tricky financial situation but had plans in place.

He said: "Whilst I perceive that we have inherited a difficult situation financially, there are now clear and structured plans in place to progress the club and avoid a similar situation from occurring again.

"In the short time I have been at Southampton it has become abundantly clear that we are blessed with a staff that has all the necessary skills with which to progress, and now that we can supplement that with a strong board I am sure we will enjoy a successful future together."

Saints' annual results show that the club, which has an enviable record in bringing through players via the academy, will have spent more than £30million in re-developing the Staplewood Training Ground.

The wage bill increased to £47.1million last season from £28.7million, but the wage to turnover ratio dropped significantly to 65 per cent from 102 per cent.

The Liebherr family, who own the club, injected a further £12.5million last season, plus £2.2million in September, bringing their total investment to £52.7million.

Of that, £37.9million has been converted from ownership debt into equity shares and the club's net liabilities stand at £1.6million down from £32.4million.

Press Association

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