Southampton chairman resigns, putting Mauricio Pochettino's future in doubt

Paul Thomas

Could Mauricio Pochettino be eying the exit door at St. Mary's?

Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese has resigned, leaving his post after previously threatening to do so last May. Owner Katharina Libherr will take over as chairman on an interim basis.

He did not comment on his departure, but Liebherr released a statement about Cortese and the search for a replacement.

"With great regret we have accepted the resignation of Mr Cortese. He has done a wonderful job and we very much wanted him to stay. A search has now begun for a successor. It is business as usual and we will ensure that the manager, team and staff at the club have all the help and support they need."

That last sentence is particularly important, given that manager Mauricio Pochettino's future now looks very uncertain. At the end of last season, Pochettino said that he could leave Southampton if Cortese exited, claiming that it 'would not make any sense' for him to remain at the club without Cortese as chairman.

"I have great respect as well for Southampton, the club and the supporters, but Nicola has been the one that has placed his trust and faith in me. I wouldn't see myself in this club if it was not for him. I think I am a very transparent person, a very honest person. We are on the same wavelength about the club and the future of the club so it really would not make any sense if I was at this club and he was not."

Southampton currently sit in 9th place and at least met, if not exceeded expectations this season. They'll almost certainly try to retain Pochettino's services and will hope he's had a change of heart.

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