Keep Calm And Carry On At St Mary's
Monday, 25th May 2020 09:11
Saints supporters were shocked to read reports in the Daily Star that the club was in finacial trouble and that there would be a fire sale of players, but it was a Red Top article based on pure speculation.
The Daily Star put out an article over the weekend claiming
"Exclusive: Danny Ings, Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse are all set to be up for grabs in the transfer market if Chinese owner Gao Jisheng does not sell his 80 per cent stake"
"As revealed last month by the Daily Star Sunday , the club’s Chinese owner Gao Jisheng is desperate to sell his 80 per cent stake for a cut-price £150m.
However, if unable to attract the right offer before the transfer window eventually opens, the Saints will be left with no option but to cash in their leading names to cover spiralling debts.
That could mean them reluctantly parting company with at least four English players in an effort to raise the best part of £100m."
Why Saints should be targeted as a club by the Daily Star in the article by the ironically named Harry Pratt is unclear, certainly this would not be coming from the club, no business in financial trouble as the Star claims would be letting this known, they would be fronting it out, they would know that if they let it know they needed to sell then the prices offered would be low,
A look at Harry Pratt's career on Linkedin reveals a long career in Journalism, but perhaps all you need to know is that he proudly tells of his four years as a sports reporter at the Sun in the mid 1990's.
The article has no real substance, it seems that with football coming under the spotlight financially, Saints were as good a choice as any.
The story hasn't been taken up by many other media outlets, although Radio Solent's Adam Blackmore a journalist who is perhaps the closest to the club had this to say on twitter.
"The response I’ve had to the red top story on #saintsfc is ..
“0% chance” of those English players being sold this summer
“Couldn’t be further from the truth”
PEH has a year left & has made comments so club will need to sell if he doesn’t sign - more on him 👇 from yesterday"
Rumours that the club was for sale surfaced a few months ago and were categorically denied, but even if the club is not for sale that does not mean that there will not be enquiries and offers made behind the scenes.
Gao's ability to run the club have been hampered over the past year by the worsening situation between China and the West, especially the United States, when Gao bought into Saints the Chinese government were encouraging investment into sport in the west and promoting their own league with a rash of highly paid foreign imports.
Now that policy is not prevalent and at times as China has come under fire from the West, they have blocked money leaving China and being invested in all areas of Western business, including sport.
It would be naive to think that Gao has not been affected by this at times, indeed the Chinese owners of Wolves the Fosun Group were looking for external investors into the club at the start of this season due to the difficulties experienced.
The truth is all clubs will experience financial issues over the coming year(s) due to the Corona Virus and picking a club with Chinese owners is an easy target.
But will these issues affect Saints more than others ? Gao has stated that he is not putting major funding into the club, that he is running it as a business, if that is the case then we are perhaps not in as bad a position as some who are reliant on their owners funding to run day to day.
Yes it will be challenging but no more than anyone else.
So Saints supporters have to keep calm and carry on, every report in the press isn't true and there are those in the media who will have agendas, Spurs for instance are being linked with Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Danny Ings what better way to try and push that agenda than an article like this aimed at de stabilising the club in the eyes of the players concerned, there is a bigger picture and the underbelly of football is not pretty.
I will criticise Gao when he merits it, but so far he has not done anything bad towards Saints, all he has done is run it as a business, just as Markus Liebherr intended, but in the eyes of some that is not good enough, he should be pumping money in for transfers.
Perhaps he does want to sell, but we don't know that either way, only time will tell, so it is no use moaning about something that might happen until it does.
Photo: Action Images
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