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Sunday, 18th March 2018 Kick-off 13:30
New Saints Owners Address Saints Fans
Thursday, 29th Mar 2018 11:06
Saints fans have been clamouring for some words from the Gao family and last night they got them at the opening of the new Saints exhibition at the Sea City Museum in the Civic Centre.
The new Saints exhibition was opened last night with a private viewing for various people conncted with the club both from the playing side, off the field as well as some of the supporters.
Lawrie McMenemy, Matt Le Tissier and Mick Channon gave speeches which highlighted the great affection felt by them for both the City of Southampton and it's football club.
But for some the eyes and ears were not on the greats of the past, but some of the people who will hopefully make the future great.
That meant Ralph Krueger and Nelly Gao, daughter of Jisheng who took an 80% controlling stake in the club earlier in the season.
Most of the words were spoken by Ralph Krueger who took on the role of unnofficial host for the specch part of the evening, he spoke warmy of the club and the City, he seemed to know a lot about the club and it's history and more importantly he seemed committed to take things forward.
He thanked the Gao's for allowing them to get on with things since taking over, perhaps insinuating that this is far better than interference and he seemed to have a genuine friendly relationship with Nelly Gao and her companions on the evening.
Nelly Gao herself addressed the fans, she spoke fairly fluent English and again spoke warmly of the club and her hope that she and her family could be good custodians and continue to take it forward.
Whilst her speech was short and sharp, her presence and the words were perhaps re assurances that as essentially the owners of the club they intend to play a role, that aligned with with Ralph Kruegers words seemed to imply that they were happy with the infrastructure of the club and happy employing people to run it who know what they are talking about when running big sporting organisations, rather than blunder though it themselves in an area they have no expertise.
Certainly the words of both Ralph Krueger and Nelly Gao were received warmly by the assembled throng, both supporters and those closer to the club like Matt Le Tissier whom Ralph Krueger thanked in his speech for being a sounding board and a source for advice when needed.
Whilst we can't be totally sure of the Gao's intentions, that will perhaps always be the case and indeed is at most football club's these days, but certainly last night was a good bit of PR for both Krueger and his board and te Gao family as owners.
There will always be people who are cynical, but we have no choice butto take things at face value and that seems to be a committed Chairman and board who as the recent accounts have shown have built a solid structure off the pitch and a committed Gao family who as owners seem to be taking the view that the club is well run and that they should not interfere with that too much.
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