Nicola Cortese is to be replaced as Southampton FC chairman by club owner Katharina Liebherr. Cortese had tendered his formal resignation in the autumn and is serving out the notice period on his contract, report the BBC.
Southampton have not commented on Cortese’s departure from the club, and the future of manager Mauricio Pochettino – a favourite of Cortese – is uncertain.
At the time of Cortese’s resignation the club were sitting third in the Premier League table, though the BBC report that he had been considering his position as long ago as May, but decided to stay on after receiving assurances over the future of the club. But with Liebherr’s ongoing desire to sell the club, a stance Cortese is believed to disagree with, he tendered his resignation in the autumn.
The former Swiss banker has been a polarising figure at St Mary’s since his arrival four years ago, but in that time he has overseen Southampton’s rise from the third tier of English football to reestablishing themselves in the Premier League, and developing a number of talented players, including internationals Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jay Rodriguez. He also oversaw some big name signings, such as Gaston Ramirez and Dani Osvaldo (pictured above).