Cortest to stay on at Southampton

Nicola Cortese will continue in his role as Southampton’s executive chairman after having his plans signed off by the club’s owners, reports Sky Sports.

Cortese had been considering his future at the club over differences with the trust which owns holding rights to Southampton, and manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed earlier this week that he would also leave if Cortese departed.

A meeting on Friday with owner Katherina Liebherr went well, however, and plans for the club to continue in the Premier League and improve on this season’s performance were agreed, and Cortese has now agreed to stay put.

Cortese said: “We are now in a position to move forward with our ambitious plans for the club and I would like to thank Katharina for the very helpful manner in which she approached our talks about long term strategy. I am pleased that this matter is now resolved.

“We can now focus 100 per cent on our preparations for next season. We have tremendous momentum now at the club and we are looking forward with great confidence to an exciting and successful campaign next season.

“The last few days have shown me the unity that we now have across the club in the players, the manager, the staff and the chairmanship which normally takes years to achieve. I have always believed that to create this unity would make us a very strong club and it is a unity of which I am unashamedly proud.”

Cortese arrived at the club in 2009 when Markus Liebherr purchased the club with a vision of returning them to the Premier League. Saints were in League One at the time, but celebrated returning to England’s top flight just three years later, though Liebherr himself passed away from a heart attack in 2010.

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