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Koeman Situation Nearing Conclusion ! But What Will It Be ?
Saturday, 11th Jun 2016 09:32

Within the next few days the Ronald Koeman fiasco will reach the end of the road, but it will not be clear cut.

After several days of media frenzy mainly fuelled by Ronald Koeman's agent and Everton's PR dept determined to persuade the nation that Everton are now ready to go head to head with neighbours Liverpool in bringing in a top manager and handing him millions to spend, the Koeman saga went deathly silent.

No stories from Dutch journalists briefed by the agent, no stories from the English press telling the country that Saints and Everton had finally agreed compensation with the only real news being that Everton wanted to sign Pelle, a player who if they had done their research would have found had been out of favour with Koeman and turning 32 next month is not exactly one for the future.

So why has it gone so silent ? has the media just lost interest ? do they feel that its so nailed on its not worth reporting ? or are they waiting patiently for the proverbial to hit the fan.

Whatever the reasons with Ronald Koeman returning from holiday on Sunday evening this sorry saga will come to its conclusion probably on Monday.

On that day Koeman will either go to Merseyside and sign a contract or he won't, its as simple as that.

But the day before he is due to return there is still no news as to whether Saints and Everton have agreed compensation terms, the last concrete news was at the beginning of the week when after a plethora of news stories saying that they had, Everton took the unprecedented step of saying that nothing had been agreed.

Since then just various reports of a differing nature and few of them since Tuesday.

The general consensus is that Koeman signing is a formality and whilst I would agree that this is by far the most likely ending to the story, I don't think it is as nailed on as most would think.

Why am I saying that ? you may ask.

Mainly gut feeling is the answer, but aside from that there are a few things that are just nagging in my brain.

The first is why Koeman went away on holiday right in the middle of a crucial deal, this does not happen either in football or indeed in business in general, the golden rule is get the signature on paper nothing is concrete till then, indeed Everton's new sugar daddy Moshiri will not be happy with this turn of events and maybe questioning Koeman's commitment to the cause, he will be asking why the Dutchman wasn't banging on Saints door persuading them to release him and why the moment that Saints agreed to release Koeman why he wasn't sat on Merseyside pen in hand.

But it is more than that, why have Saints been strangely quiet about things ?

There is no doubt Saints have been playing hardball, they have told Everton their position, told them their demands to release Koeman and they are not budging, the reality is that for Southampton Football Club it would be better to pay Koeman his current £2.5 million salary to sit at home for the final year of his contract than let him go to Everton and unsettle our players.

This being the case it would not surprise me if a total stalemate is reached, Everton look elsewhere and Koeman spends a year on gardening leave, a situation that rarely happens in football and is rarely reported when it does.

But Saints silence almost seems as if they are protecting Koeman, that they don't think that he is certain t go to Goodison, there is a rumour doing the rounds that Koeman's agent has pushed this to almost the finishing line whilst he was on holiday, of course Koeman himself could put a stop to it overnight, but it is a mighty big carrot dangled and it is not that easy to turn it down out of hand.

Last weekend Koeman had to make a snap decision he did so apparently wanting to take the money and run, but suddenly he back tracked and went on holiday, could it be that he is using this time to run things through his mind and reconsider ?

This is not as far fetched at it might first appear, firstly Ronald Koeman has spent his entire career indeed life as a very moral and ethical man, this last week will not sit easily with him, basically a good man does not become bad overnight and vice versa (I did have a stronger phrase in mind here lol)

Secondly Saints by failing to make even the usual " Ronald Koeman has told us he no longer wants to be manager of Southampton and we have reluctantly accepted that" statement we have made several times in the past notably two years ago when Spurs poached Pochetinno, seems to suggest that they are not completely sure that Koean will walk away.

I'm sure that Ralph Krueger will be using all his experience both in sport and in man management here, he will point out 20 reasons why Koeman should stay and invite him to give the only reason why he should go, MONEY !

I'm not going to go too deep here, but I would not be surprised if Koeman going on holiday wasn't a Krueger suggestion, take a step back sit back and look at what you are giving up and if you decide you want to stay the contract is here and ready for you.

It's a last gasp try but we all know what happened the last time Koeman told a club he was all ready to sign and then went on holiday after all it was only a month ago !

So although I would say it's still odds on that Koeman will join Everton, those odds have increased in the past week, the fact that the press are no longer being briefed suggests that all sides are not feeling confident.

It is Saints that hold the cards though and those who have screamed at the club for not being ambitious and matching Everton have to realise that we have a strategy and that strategy does not mean that we throw money at everything, Everton themselves are going down a rocky path, one that has seen Leeds almost go to the wall, one that has seen Man Utd rapidly lose their status in the Premier League rankings despite spending much more than Everton are boasting about.

Success can still be achieved by doing things the right way, in fact even wit money you still need to do things properly otherwise it doesn't happen.

The next few days will see this saga come to it's end, whatever tha end is Southampton Football Club will march on as it always does and that is because we are building foundations with a strategy that does not rely on the efforts of one man, but of the whole club.

Photo: Action Images

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squidofdespair added 09:51 - Jun 11
Squid keeps sayingit isn't a nailed on FACT.
Its possible that RoKo can come back into the fold and declare he never really said he was going. SFC will forgive and we get on with the season.

ElSanto added 10:10 - Jun 11
One of your best articles I have ever read, Nick.

corkcitysaint added 10:25 - Jun 11
I believe our silence in the media is actually quite dignified. I don't believe in muck spreading in public. Whatever is happening behind the scenes, I have faith in the current set-up of the owner / board and that they know what they are doing.

We tend to forget that football is now a business where loyalty is extremely rare. Whilst some decisions may be hard for fans to accept, no one person is bigger than the club. We will keep marching on and yes, the road will be rocky ahead but it will smooth out.

Hopefully, all will be resolved on Monday with or without Koeman. We can then concentrate on the season ahead and build for success.

Toussaint added 10:30 - Jun 11
Nick was on the juice last night well done son

FaroSaint added 11:02 - Jun 11
An excellent article . It is all very odd. I hope he stays but maybe it is because nothing can be signed while he is on a yacht in the mediterranean so nothing can be settled until he reaches dry land.

SanMarco added 11:29 - Jun 11
Certainly 'fiasco' is the right word. I think there is a little bit of wishful thinking here. One could write 100 scenarios as to what has been going on but for what its worth my take is as follows:

Saints are always silent until the deal is concluded (Corkcity's dignity) - so no conclusions to be drawn from that.

There is obviously something holding it up but the 99% chance is that it is something that WILL be sorted - Koeman could not now backtrack. If he changes his mind on Everton then Saints would be mad to welcome him back.

Yes it has all been very odd but probably a mistake to look through rose-tinted 'Koeman has integrity' glasses - that boat sailed over a week ago...

altonsaints added 11:35 - Jun 11
There is a very fine line between keeping a dignified silence if there nothing to report; versus making a statement to update fans with the situation. The thing that I think we have to remember is to put our faith in the Saints recruitment department. There have been many appointments that have seemed 'out of the box' at times, but have actually proven to be very astute. I for one had never heard of Mane before he turned up at saints for example. All I hope is that there is a final decision soon so that the club can move forward

SanMarco added 12:08 - Jun 11
Have just read the little 'build up for next season' piece on the official site - I bet last year's mentioned the manager.

GeordieSaint added 12:29 - Jun 11
Ronald Whoman?

JohnT added 12:30 - Jun 11
I still think he should go whether he wants to or not...If this happened in business the person concerned would be at least suspended ...he is no good to us now, he can't be serious about Sants.

BaselSaint added 13:23 - Jun 11
Brilliant article Nick. Thanks as always for your great work.

fb_john added 13:27 - Jun 11
Nobody knows Ronald's stance all the leaving has been the media putting 2 and 2 together making 5 you can't sack a man based on what is reported in the Sun!

compello added 13:37 - Jun 11
Can someone remind me the actual moment Ronald Koeman said he was leaving us to go to Everton?

Ah ok.

So shall we just wait to get nasty about him - when we know for sure that he's going.

Nothing official has been said anywhere. It's all gone on so long that something clearly isn't right. All will be revealed...

perazi added 13:38 - Jun 11
Bit of a beat up, this story. Ronald is gone; he's not coming back - he won't be our Manager any more!!!!!! And by the way Nick...Pelle turns 31 not 32 next month.

SaintBrock added 13:45 - Jun 11
Sadly fb_john, that is just wishful thinking.

Koeman and Saints have had ample time and opportunity to publicly dismiss the stories as press fabrication if that is all they are. Smoke and Fire go together.

Silence is not always the most dignified or intelligent response and SFC PR team have failed badly over this affair.

SanMarco added 14:47 - Jun 11
I am genuinely interested to know how a SaintBrock run PR dept would have handled this. Sometimes saying anything meaningful is extremely difficult.

WanderingSaint added 15:47 - Jun 11
Can we just stop all this please? It looks like you’re just writing articles for the sake of it, and this just appears to be the rambling wild thoughts/dreams of the ultimate optimist, or maybe conspiracy theorist!

He’s just gone on holiday, one that he booked ages ago, the departure date of which has inconveniently fallen in the middle of these negotiations. It’s as simple as that.

Remember, RK changed agents about 2 or 3 weeks prior to the season end. He moved from an agent who wanted him to stay with Saints, to another. Within 2 weeks of the season end, his new agent announces he’s agreed to join Everton. It seems absolutely clear that his mind was made up well before the end of the season, and he moved agents in order to get it done.

He was always going to leave at the end of next season anyway, he made that clear. It’s far from the end of the world. It shouldn’t really come as any surprise, given that he had a definite departure date at the end of ‘16/’17 that it has come early, it usually does in such situations – the club must look to the future.

Whilst I would also have liked him to stay, let’s be honest he’s been good for us, I’d accept very good as well, but he’s not been fantastic. I’ve said on other posts, last season was I believe the best opportunity for us to get CL football we’ve ever had, and will have in my lifetime. Team selection and performance meant that never materialised, but it was such a golden opportunity and I feel we (RK) wasted it. Even if he wanted to change his mind now, his position is untenable.

We need to move on now, that’s NOW. The focus should be on the future. This era/episode is finished.

Can you also stop with the “honourable man” and statements like “Ronald Koeman has spent his entire career indeed life as a very moral and ethical man.” There is no evidence of this other than what he’s uttered himself. It may be true, but there’s no evidence of it. FYI, last season when we beat Man Utd away, I was in the Varsity, and oddly enough there were two Dutch guys in there watching as well. The main thing I recall from the conversation I had with them was them saying that he won’t be here long, he only stays at clubs for a 2 or 3 years, and he doesn’t leave them very good states. I hope the last bit’s wrong, but looking at his career, seems about right.

Our board will resolve the situation, probably for the better. Just look what they’ve done over the last 5 years. We’ve improved incredibly year on year. We’ve had loads of changes to both team and Manager, and the only permanent presence has been the board. We’ve started the last 3 seasons as “a club in turmoil” and were “destined for relegation,” but ended up having the best seasons in our history. They deserve an awful lot more credit than a lot here give them.

Now, that's better!

OwenTheSaint added 15:58 - Jun 11
My guess is Koeman committed himself to Everton last weekend, albeit verbally, but could not sign a contract to make it official because compensation had not been agreed. The delay is the result of Everton trying to put pressure on Saints to accept a reduced compensation amount because they know we can't move on until he's gone so we would be keen to get the situation sorted asap. I imagine Everton are happy to splash the cash (and some) when it comes to paying their new manager because he's one of theirs, but are reluctant to pay too big an amount for compensation because ultimately they are paying a competitor. In short, it's a game of chicken, someone will flinch sooner or later and the deal will get done. But I hope I'm wrong and you are right Nick. It would be great to see a decision made in football that's not all about money.

landerwal added 16:42 - Jun 11
Very good article. I think the change of agent was deliberate on Koeman's part. 2/3 weeks before the end of the season coincided with Martinez's manager's chair barely getting cold and with Everton making it clear they wanted him, it was an opportunity too good to miss. I think Koeman will go or what was the point of changing agents. However, the history of football history of football is littered with many many managers who have "moved on to better things" only to have their career hit the buffers with the sack a couple of seasons later. Koeman could well rue the day he left Saints.

fb_john added 17:11 - Jun 11
Agents work on the behalf on the person he wouldn't have changed solely to force the Everton role, he would have just instructed his previous agent to go get. More likely changed because he felt he could be getting more from Southampton and his previous agent wasn't getting him more.

bstokesaint added 19:27 - Jun 11
I'd personally be surprised if there was a U-turn. Think it's probably too late now too. I suspect the hold-up is from Everton going hung-Ho and Saints dragging their feet as they should. And I respect that. I guess we may never know. I wouldn't be surprised if all parties were sworn to silence on what has actually happened. Could easily be a clause tied in with the compo. One thing I do think is we've handled it almost as well as we could under the circumstances and I prefer silence to nonsense statements. I personally like Les, but reckon he may have got a b0ll0cking for speaking openly initially, which was the only real mistake.

theholsaints added 22:03 - Jun 11
I have always struggled over the years with how all the media rumours about Saints in the summer have, somehow, become true...the one thing I question this time around is how a 7th, Europa qualifier, then 6th Europa group stage finish can really want to make a manager leave...surely see out your last year and then really see how high your stock is?!?...the media this year and every year for Saints, since returning to the prem league has been like nothing seen before...this year the media are just trying to do what they do...we march on...can't wait for 2016-17!!!!

helpineedsomebody added 22:19 - Jun 11
it looks to me that mr koeman will be tacking a year long holiday

EvertonSaint added 09:18 - Jun 12
Are Saints dragging their feet over Koemans situation? Various unnecessary comments have been made about the management of SFC which can not help our plight. Saints have always said they will not discuss or hang their dirty washing out in public so possibly many of the negative comments over the RK position are reactions to the press stirring things up. We appear to be an easy target for them especially as we do not have a great record hanging on to talent so to fill the papers, we are having many of our players linked to other clubs. This can only have a detrimental effect of their confidence, feelings and stability.

Whatever the outcome, some will be happy, others critical and the rest like me confused about our future road. If KOEMAN stays and signs a new two year deal, time is a great healer, stability will be maintained and the annual merry-go-round will be acted out again. If players arrive are as good or better as our signings over the last two years then roll on next season.

If KOEMAN is to go then the club is still the one we love and will follow until the grim reaper calls. Southampton FC will always be bigger than the individual and an appropriate manager will be found. No more do we bumble along with the likes of managers under the Lowe era. Keep the faith and Te sun will shine next season.

TeamCortese added 09:43 - Jun 12
Whilst I think Nick has made some valid points, the reality is we should be looking to a future manager. The problem we'll be facing is who would want to come in?

The first question they'll be asking the board is why our previous manager left for a club in a lower league position? The only manager I can recall that did that recently was Alan Pardew from Newcastle to Crystal Palace. It was pretty obvious he did it for sentimental/personal reasons not because he felt that Crystal Palace is a bigger football club. The board will find it difficult to justify why Koeman left other than for the club's lack of ambition.

I'll be surprised if we attract quality managers. The reason Koeman replaced Pochettino is because he saw Southampton as a decent stepping stone to bigger clubs in the Premier League. He clearly feels he's come as a far he can with the club and doesn't feel the board will back him to take us to the next level.

Our best bet is Mark Hughes I reckon. He's got some ties with Southampton and may consider us a step-up from Stoke. The only issue is whether he considers the board will back him the same way Stoke have with the signings he wants over the summer.

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