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Krueger Reveals Gao's Investment Plans For The Club
Thursday, 4th Jan 2018 11:58

Ralph Krueger has spoken of Gao Jisheng's plans to invest in the club and asked the fans to be more positive about the new owner.

Ralph Krueger has again been speaking about the current state of Southampton FC and has revealed that the owner plans to invest money into the infrastructure of the club including a refurbishment of St Mary's, more work at Staplewood and land purchase around the Stadium which would allow more commercial developement and growth for the club.

Gao has been in and around the club for three weeks in the past month and has been communicating with Krueger and his board about all aspects of the club including the new transfer window.

But Krueger also urged the fans to look at the situation with more encouragement and positivity, pointing out that most Premier League club's are now set up in a two tiered situation with the owners sitting in the background and saying little and leaving the everyday running of the club and communication to the baord they have in place.

“I think they (fans) need to look at it more encouragingly that they have come in here and are respecting what the club stands for, how the club culturally functions, and what we have here.

“I think the norm would be making huge splashes and changing the faces of the board and so on and so forth which is what they have purposely not done.

“Everybody will get to know them over time.”

"But give them time. If we look around the league they are not coming in and making a lot of promises until they understand what is going on. I think it’s a very intelligent approach."

"The fans have seen him. He’s here. Passionately here. And speaking no less than Katharina did."

"She chose that route and her being their partner they are taking a lot of their lead and also being coached and brought into this whole scene by Katharina and following her excellent leadership in some ways."

But Krueger also said that the stadium refurbishment would not include any increase to capacity at present.

"No it’s definitely not about increasing the capacity."

"I have said lots of times we have to sell the stadium out with line-ups outside before we even think about that."

"We are looking at refurbishment and improving the quality of the day-to-day experience of our fans."

In truth this second part of Kruegers interview is probably not what many Saints fans want to hear, but that does not make it very relevant to the club or for that matter unimportant.

Football club's these days are big business and it is about building up infrastructure that allows progress to be made and Saints have most certainly made progress under both Krueger and Les Reed over the past 4 years.

Read social media and you would think that both are amateurs in what they do, but despite a small section of the support bleating about them and calling them clueless which in turn has led to other supporters fllowing their lead and taking it as the truth, the real truth is that Reed can point to 4 consecutive top 8 finishes plus a cup final as proof that he is taking the club forward and he has a point, no one else has ever managed that consistency at any other time in our 132 year history, that being the case just what do some fans expect.

I know this is not the popularist view, that it is easier to blame Reed for selling players, but the Van Dijk situation has shown just what a task the club is up against and how it is almost impossible to hold on to your star players these days, that being the case the fact that we have had those top 8 finishes makes the job Krueger and Reed have done even more amazing.

Now I do not know either man and to be honest I don't think either is a people person, but I look at what Southampton Football Club has been throughout it's history and what it has achieved and i can't find too many people who have build this club up as they have done, that being the case they deserve some credit and more to the point the trust for them to continue to get things right.

Football club do not have continuous success season in season out, all clubs have blips, look at Chelsea a couple of seasons ago for instance, we were due a season where we need to dig in and consolidate.

But the average football fan does not want to hear what it takes to run a football club, they just want to hear the good stuff not the bad, but personally would rather the club had the right people in place doing the right jobs than empty rhetoric spouted out without any real substance behind it and yes i am referring to our former Chairman here, the squad under him eventually finished 8th, but that was as high as it could go, there was no money to invest in it, no commercial income at the club and no real plan to get any, that squd had peaked, investment would come only from selling and buying.

That is what happened and to be blunt that is the only way forward for this football club, take a look at the incomes of other clubs we cannot compete, Manchester United earn £70 million per year MORE than us just from their shirt sponsorship deal, add the fact that they earn around £50 millon MORE than us from tickets alone than means they are £120 million up on us before they start raking in the extra money from other income sources including merchandising and TV money etc.

This perhaps shows what we are up against, that means we have no choice but to compete on our own terms and that means buying players, improving them and making profit to continue repeating the process.

We have to be successful at it because it is the only way open to us for long term sustainable success, those that say we can't keep selling players year in and year out and getting lucky may have a point, but we have no choice, we cannot compete any other way.

So I would much rather hear about new signings and Gao pledging £50 million of his own money to make them, but that isn't going to happen, so I have to be content with what I am hearing now, which in truth is far better than most other clubsoutside of the top six hear, after all what has happened to Everton's big plans that lured away Ronald Koeman ? Everton have found they cannot compete against the big six either.

So Saints fans have to give Les Reed and Ralph Krueger some cresdit for what they have done and give them some leeway to do it again this season, their achievements are there in the record books to see, I have yet to meet anyone who slags off Les Reed who has actually met him, been to Staplewood etc so therefore actually can tell me why he is so bad.

I am not a big fan of Reed myself but that is because I don't know him either, but I do know that the past four seasons have exceeded all expectations.

One thing we should al have learn't these past four years is that patience is the best thing, it is about being calm in a crisis, hopefully that is the case in these difficult times.

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WestSussexSaint added 12:50 - Jan 4
Nick, it seems part of Gao's investment plans is also to pay you to provide lip service to Reed and Krueger :).

In all seriousness, football is a results business at all levels. If a player doesn't play well he gets dropped and eventually sold/released. If the first team perform badly the manager gets sacked. Ultimately it is Reed and Krueger's job to build the infrastructure and maintain a sound financial footing for the club.

However, a huge amount of finance is driven by maintaining PL status. If the club gets relegated then the infrastructure improvements will only provide partial protection. There is little point in having a PL standard training ground if we are playing in the Championship or League One and only able to attract and afford that calibre of player.

So while I agree with you that Reed and Krueger have presided over a successful period in the clubs history this will count for very little if the team are relegated at the end of this season.

bstokesaint added 12:55 - Jan 4
It's slightly more reassuring to know things are going on behind the scenes, but actions speak louder than words. I'm not a Les basher myself (because he's helped bring in some great players and managers over the recent seasons) and I like Ralph because I think generally he wants what is right for the club and is a man of his word. That said we are now in a position we are all unfamiliar with and only a miraculous change of form will change that. Panic isn't always the best driver, but neither is sleep-walking towards our demise. Only a top manager with a proven track record and a huge injection of new blood is likely to save us. If we go on as we are we'll be lucky to get 35 points.

REEDYREEDOREEDZ added 12:59 - Jan 4
The biggest take from part 2 is that the new owner is not going to pump lots of cash into the club like the Everton owner has been doing. That means the best we can hope for it mid-table mediocracy at best, if we can stay up this season.

As for Les Reed, what most people forget is that the club is powerless to keep these brilliant players we have sold. Look at what happened when we tried to keep VVD. He turns poisonous and destroys the team morale! You're damned if you sell them and damned if you keep them!
The reality is, any great players we have will be bought by a bigger team. Bertrand will be next. The only hope we have is to keep finding/developing quality replacements to sustain our top half position. In the last 2 years we've struggled, for the first time in years, to find these quality replacements and now we are suffering because of it.
That's where we are at. We are a small club after all.....

IWOZTHERE added 13:01 - Jan 4
You criticise the rhetoric of a previous chairman as if none exists in Krueger's belated statements?
Whether I agree or disagree with what you say (some and some actually), I find your 'the average football fan does not want to hear what it takes to run a Football Club' etc, patronising and offensive.

SanMarco added 13:07 - Jan 4
I respect Nick (and all the others) who support(s) Les Reed. I think, though, that to blame social media or easily led sheep-like fans for criticism of him is wrong. As WestSussex points out football, like any other business, is about the here and now. Managers and players are never allowed to rest on past laurels (look at Ranieri and Adkins for feck's sake) so if we feel that Krueger and Reed have done well in the past then good on them and it was good for us but NOW is more important than THEN. Can Reed and Kreuger act quickly and intelligently to save us in this very REAL crisis in the here and now??? We all hope so but a lot of us are not over-confident to say the least. There has been a complacent sleep-walk into our current problems over the past 18 months. The buck has to stop with those in charge during that period: they buy the players and appoint the manager. They assembled our current, failing, squad and they earn lots and lots of money. They need to get it right now...

helpineedsomebody added 13:12 - Jan 4


bstokesaint added 13:13 - Jan 4
Also on the subject of being passionate I could do that bit. Childhood club and all that. I could win £100m on the Euro Lotto and come in as a part owner. It'd be a real buzz for me personally, but realistically I could nothing for the club. Gone are the Jack Walker days of old. These days if you haven’t set-up a multi-national or accidentally stumbled upon some oil you’re probably best off not buying a PL football club.

ItchenNorth added 13:15 - Jan 4
Theres only one match day experience that needs improving for the fans at the moment, and it isn't Clackers and brass bands..................!
But if they are going to change anything about match days in terms of the stadium; introduction of safe standing and the entire Northan End for the home supporters would be a big step in the right direction..

1970 added 13:33 - Jan 4
we are just a cash cow for these people with no intent to grow the club,its all set up with the Celtics and sh^^epools of this world to become part of that cog ,now the fans question this no growth strategy they'll throw in a fun fair and a few pie shops around the ground to keep the kids happy but your season ticket will go up regardless of what season we have, the catchment area we are in make us primed for skimming the profits just like KL and the dark lord,i don't think for one minute Walcott or Sturridge will come to us its a story made up to please the fans after the vvd saga ,as mentioned Bertrand will go next because he cant play at the wc while in saints colours ,and why haven't we signed anybody already? you'd think the state of our situation and the inevitable loss of our captain there would be some urgency but the truth is they have little or no intention of buying anyone just my thoughts from a very disgruntled life long suffering saints fan rant over coyr

TygerUppercut added 13:39 - Jan 4
Saint Nik can You be anymore patronising + condescending? The stadium Is about to recieve a lick of paint so we should all be happy with that!?
For.many years we have all mocked pompey and how their deluded fans couldnt see their club was being used as a money laundering vehicle- yet if any saints fans ask.questions and are sceptical about Gaos intentons then we are looked down upon by yourself + this current shambles of a board + the rest of the thought police fans!!
My opinion Is Mr Gao Is here to park his cash and then redirect it, to a safer haven than china- i financial guru But i understand there are Certain financial rules + regulations in china that Would encourage him to hold his capital elsewhere - am.i wrong to be sceptical & hold a open Mind to.this whole liebherr Gao 'partnership'!?
You are aware that Mr Gao + his lander consortium failed the first premier league fit + proper person test - any idea why? Is it not a responsible Assesment to then be concerned that Hes come back a second time + found another way the cat!
Why have You brushed this under the carpet? - You seem to have the answers to everything else!!
Also I notice kruger Is starting to mention saints fans with the same.disregard + discontent that rupert lowe did + many of your articles mirror the same attitude! Are you on the clubs payroll or do You just have a superiority complex!?

LordDZLucan added 14:27 - Jan 4
Ultimately a football club 'belongs' to the fans and not to the legal owner. The fans are the heartbeat of the club and without them you have nothing. The fans are solely interested in what happens on a Saturday afternoon. If all these business plans provide a larger local fanbase plus better results and entertainment on a Saturday afternoon then great. If they don't then they will count for nothing.

schatfield added 15:09 - Jan 4
Good article nick and I agree with your comments

SaintBrock added 15:29 - Jan 4
It's always promises for tomorrow, never about action for today. I think the pressure is getting to Kreuger and he is talking gibberish. It's probably better if he maintained the dignified silence of the last twelve months if this is the best he can come up with.

Saints are going down and even drastic surgery may not be enough to save them now. If as he suggests Mr Gao has "big plans for the club" then he'd better get in some people quickly who not only know how to manage a crises but are competent enough to understand when there is one.

Otherwise poor Gao will be sleep-walking his way to bankruptcy whilst his lackeys sit on their hands.

WA_Saint added 16:55 - Jan 4
You really have become a mouthpiece for the club, is that because you now have again a season ticket with your name on it? We all know when you were banned that you still went to the games albeit under a different name! Your change over the last couple of seasons is evident to everyone that has ever bothered to listen. I remember having a chat with you a few years back, when you were banned and before we were back in the Premier League. You were nothing but negative about the club and it took me about an hour to convince you that we were heading in the right direction, but you still wasn’t that convinced! That was when we were on the way up! Now that we are heading in the opposite direction, but you are back within the thoughts of the club, it’s nothing but positive spin from you. You are coming across as a bit of a fool if I’m honest, just because you get invited to media days at Staplewood, it doesn’t mean all is well at the club, probably just another media outlet to spin their bullshit! What I don’t quite understand, what with you being a massive Saints fan; is you’re quite happy to spin the current incumbents of our clubs rhetoric as the truth, when we are clearly in decline, yet you had nothing positive to say about the previous incumbent when we were on the way up? It’s quite amazing really, you really have changed your tune, astonishing what a couple of invites to make you feel important can accomplish! Go SFC, Go Ralph and Les!!

LondonSaint added 17:59 - Jan 4
Easy there WA_Saint! I just read this article as "I'd like it to be better but this is what we've got and it could be worse" so I don't think it warrants that sort of personal response but everyone is entitled to their opinion, I suppose.

For me the saddest part of all this is the infighting our "strategy" has caused. I can't help but feel that with a bit more communication and honesty this could've been prevented without creating two opposing camps of "Meggie's" and "happy clappers".

sholingred added 18:00 - Jan 4
Nick are you losing the plot wasn't it you who said we have quality strikers and don't need to buy any because theres goals in our team lol,and I'm starting to think maybe the club may throw you a season ticket to say nice things about our football gurus Reed and Kruegert.You cant possibly be taken in by that waffle surely.

LondonSaint added 18:01 - Jan 4
* I meant "neggies", although Meggie's is far more amusing!

TygerUppercut added 19:10 - Jan 4
Well said WA Saint,- although Nick wont reply- his articles only.focus on selective points + putting the knife in to saints fans ! Im glad other people can see how Nicks narrative has changed - almost as if Hes one of the pigs in the trough! Since cortese left the articles on this site have been like something of a soviet communist thought police regime!
Clearly Ralph the mouths minions have had a quiet word with Nick about his importance + infleunce he can hold with his propaganda machine! After hearing krugers interviews this week I can just Imagine the self serving management bile rhetoric aimed at Nick and oh my hasnt he swallowed it
Fair play for your work over the years Mr Illingsworth, I respect your time +efforts to the club,+the very fact this site Is yours, but history Will show that at a time when seriouus questions should be asked of this board You are turning a blind eye to many worrying facts because youve been buttered up by this board + youre still carrying a personal vendetta to Mr cortese! Where Is your impartiality!

GeordieSaint added 19:30 - Jan 4
Maybe give the new board a chance? Just a thought as they have not even been here for 1 transfer window

SaintPaulVW added 19:44 - Jan 4
It's a tricky one for me. I've been moaning that we never hear from the owner/board about the plans, now we do hear I'm still none the wiser. So basically they are saying nothing as everything has been considered and they will do something if they think it's the right thing to do.

Clear as whatever.

Agree the stadium needs development to maximise match day income it's like arriving at a car park at the moment.

Just worry where the string leaders are in the squad who are going to guide us to safety? Will they even get to play regularly. Not sure the manager is learning quickly enough.


TeamCortese added 20:28 - Jan 4

saintmark1976 added 20:55 - Jan 4
Sorry, but the current chairman is yet another example of the modern day obsession with P R and spin. Put simply,he talks a lot but says nothing. It's just presentation with no substance.

As for those posters having a crack at Nick. Yes, I've noticed that his posts have increasingly become very pro the management of S F C lately, but like us all he is entitled to his opinion. I do not however suggest for one moment that he is receiving any financial inducements from the club.

KiwiSaint added 20:55 - Jan 4
I understand the need for patience and time for our new owner also that there will be blips in performance but my opinion is that this is a results based business both for growing your fanbase and potential income. The obvious choice they made of buying in then developing players via the transfer market or the academy isn't so much in itself wrong but the clubs reliance on it really does make good results all the more important so maximum profits can be achieved with their sale.
I wish I knew who but I would like to see a rock solid spine of a team formed from goalkeeper to striker as our mainstay and other players occasionally rotating and introduced to stimulate our rotating door policy but not get greedy with it at the expense of our first teams performances.
I know that some players have simply not been happy and wanted to leave but I find myself asking why some decent enough players wouldn't be happy enough playing for us without this stepping stone mentality which seems to be the prevailing excuse if we can pull out good results and be in the top six.

skiptonsaint added 21:04 - Jan 4
What a shame it has got to this amongst us all.

We were held up as the model club and seemed to be most peoples second favourite club around cup final time and I don't know about you but I was so so proud of Saints. The most in all my years by far including 82 as it was a more level playing field then.

There had been so much good and hard work by so many people in and around the club in the last 6 years.

Now I just don't know anymore ..but I can't get my youngster to go anymore and that is not a good sign for the future of the club if it is the feeling amongst our future generations.

The reason we are all getting so fired up about this whole situation is we all know we could easily be down in the bottom half of the championship or worse for the next 10 years if this Carrys on .

The smart people at saints please make some smart decisions and do not try and bank a large chunk of that vvd money. PLEASE

wessexman added 21:10 - Jan 4
We only have 16 league games left. The lick of paint can wait....these games can't.

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