In the wake of the shock news of the sackings of Les Reed and Martin Hunter, Saints chairman Ralph Krueger faced the Daily Echo’s chief sports writer, Adam Leitch, to discuss the move and the future for the club.
In the interview they also talked about the structure of the club’s ownership board, Mark Hughes’ position, plans for the January transfer window and whether supporters can expect investment from majority owner Gao Jisheng.
Southampton announced in a statement on Thursday that the club had parted company with vice-chairman Les Reed, and chairman Ralph Krueger has confirmed that they are now looking to appoint a new head of football operations to replace him.
Well, Reed;s eight-year tenure with the south coast outfit has come to an following a turbulent couple of years of disappointing big-money signings and managerial appointments that ultimately haven’t worked out.
There is no doubt that the 65-year-old played his part in their success just a few years ago as they secured four successive top-eight Premier League finishes and Europa League qualification on two occasions, but narrowly avoiding relegation last season left him on the brink.
A poor start to the 2018/19 campaign under Mark Hughes in which all four summer signings aren’t regulars in the starting XI meant the writing was on the wall for Reed, and his departure was confirmed on Thursday.
The club will want to complete a thorough process to ensure they get the right individual, but they should be taking a serious look at one person who already knows the club well in Paul Mitchell.
The former MK Dons midfielder joined Saints in 2012 as their new head of recruitment, and was responsible for bringing the likes of Steven Davis, Jay Rodriguez, Victor Wanyama, Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic, Sadio Mane and Toby Alderweireld to the club.