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Do Media Rumours Suggesting Saints In Financial Trouble Have Foundation !
Wednesday, 24th Jun 2020 08:41

A story seems to have emerged in Scotland suggesting that Saints are in financial trouble, but lets look at the facts.

The main carriers of the story seem to be in Scotland where Celtic are desperately trying to prise away Fraser Forster, but seem unwilling or unable to pay either the going rate on his transfer fee or anywhere near his current salary.

The source is a journalist called Duncan Castles who if you google him has often been accused of being Jose Mourinho and his agent Jose Mendes mouthpiece, so perhaps here we see why this is being put out.

The bullet points of a podcast he has spoken on have then been rehashed and used to stir up trouble for Saints, perhaps Castles has made these claims due to his connections with Mourinho and to try to push on Spurs interest in Pierre Emile Hojbjerg at a cut price, but the Scottish media are using it in context with Celtic's attempts to get both Forster and Moi Elyounoussi to the club.

The media reports are claiming:
Gao is no longer willing to support the club financially
Southampton have just taken out a loan to keep the club going
Gao is open to bidders for the club
American Bid for the club has dried up
Loan players will not have contracts extended
Looking to sell some of their most valuable players
Desperately need to reduce the wage bill
Club desperately trying to raise money through season ticket sales.

In essence nothing he has been said hasn't been said before, Castles and indeed others have just spun it in a different way, so lets take a look at some of the claims.

1. Gao cannot support the club any longer - as we know he has been running it as a business for over two years now rather than pump in money to pay bills, in essence we don't need his money to run day to day.

Of course the club are in the same boat as any other club, they have to still pay the bills at a time then there is no income coming in, clubs use income facilities from banks and other providers secured against future income all the time.

The club have said earlier in the season that although they have not actively looked for buyers that from time to time they receive enquiries from parties interested in buying a football club, but that none of these offers has seen anything other than initial interest.

The interest from America has dried up, was it ever there ?

2. Loan players will be got rid of asap - We only have two and one of them has just been signed up to an extension so that perhaps indicates that the story is trying to stir things up by throwing mud at the wall, either way an extra month on either's loan period isn't going to matter much.

3. Saints have been trying to get rid of a number of players for some time, the issue has always been about the players not going permanently because of the salary they are on and unwilling to take the massive drop needed for a permanent deal., If we could have pushed them forward then we would have done, truth is unless we virtually give them away we will struggle to sell them until the last year of their contract.

4. Season tickets launched early - Of course the club want to get season ticket money in, it is an important source of income in the summer, but they have actually been launched late not early and the deadline date is September, again trying to make something out of nothing.

5. We dont have any cash - This is an issue with every club in the present situation, look at Spurs massive club yet have no money for transfers

Overall the issues highlighted mainly are emanating from Duncan Castles who has it seems has just rehashed old news and tried to turn it into a new story.

Saints will have financial issues at present, but they are no different from any other football club, indeed due to our business structure where Gao does not put money in, we are probably in a better position than many, clubs like Liverpool, Man Utd and Spurs rely heavily on their support around the world to generate income through merchandising as well as ticket sales, we are not so reliant on this.

What it does highlight though is that football does have issues due to the corona virus and why every club needs the help of its fans to get it through and that means season ticket sales in Saints case.

I see too many "I'm waiting till august " posts on social media, that has to change, some Saints supporters have to have a different mindset, people should want to pay as early as possible to help the club, Saints like all clubs have no income at present and have lost that income if the games had been played in front of a crowd.

If people are going to renew then doing so early will help the club, at current interest rates £600 will generate about 4p a month interest, but 20,000 renewals will put £10-12 million in the club bank and help it through a difficult time, made even worse by the need to repay some of the money they have received from the TV companies.

Only those in charge of the club know the true position and they are hardly likely to be telling it to the likes of Duncan Castles in an exclusive interview.

But football had to return because of money, some will not like that and say how can football be played whilst people are still dying, but the harsh truth is that life has to go on and business's have to try and keep going and stay afloat whether they are football clubs, shops, pubs or restaurants and it is the public that have the money to patronise them and help them survive.

I'm not going to moralise about what football has become in the past 28 years since the Premier League started, neither can I say what is the truth and what sin't I can only try and give an overview, but at least one without an agenda other than to hopefully see the football club survive a tough period.

And it is a tough period, perhaps Saints are not in the financial trouble claimed, but they and all clubs are in a position they have not budgeted for and will have to cut their cloth accordingly.

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60yearsandcounting added 10:09 - Jun 24
I've never seen a Castles story that wasn't fed him by a puppet master. Fake News - Trump without the charisma!!

saintmark1976 added 10:33 - Jun 24
Nick, you suggest we look at the facts.

Last accounts for S F C to year ending June 30 2019:-

1. Loss of £ 39.7 million against 2018 profit of £ 33.7 million.

2. Nett assets £ 59.7 million against 2018 figure of £ 93.9 million.

Hardly an encouraging situation before this wretched virus. Personally I would not be at all surprised if S F C ( along with many other clubs) are struggling somewhat.

As for your suggestion that season ticket holders attitude concerning delayed renewal “ has to change”.Frankly, it’s not for you to lecture others, particularly given that you cannot possibly have any knowledge of season ticket holders individual ongoing financial concerns.


the_saint added 12:09 - Jun 24
I'm trying to renew mine and my two sons we all live in the same house and I buy there tickets.
Now southampton will renew mine with the credit for 4 games but not my sons as they are on another season ticket number.
Tried calling and requesting call back but they are not returning my call so yes I would like to renew early and help my club out but am forced to wait until they sort out their problems their end.

Shakin_Stevens added 14:19 - Jun 24
It's perfectly reasonable for people to be cautious with their money at the moment. So much uncertainty about what the future holds. When the furlough ends I'm likely to only have part time hours for a couple of months until business picks up.

Rightly or wrongly premier clubs are regarded as money obsessed, soulless businesses. Feeling obligated to help them by buying a season ticket early is not a persuasive argument for most, especially when there is so much cynicism regarding the unashamed profiteering that dictates almost every decision the clubs make. Supporters haven't felt valued by their clubs for a long time and things would have continued in the same vein had these circumstances not arisen. So the whole 'your club needs you ✌️' argument just doesn't wash.

I'm sure in your daily life you have a lot of empathy with people that are struggling. But here, with your Saints head on, you come across as quite ignorant to the consequences of what's happening at the moment.

underweststand added 14:58 - Jun 24
How do you define " financial trouble" ? Every club has debts - as not every purchase is cash up front, but many transfer deals are spread over a longer period.
Of course, the Corona situation has hit everyone, and although you might think the "Big Clubs" can weather the storm, many Prem. sides take a huge hit when they forfeit the crowd revenue for home games. Newcastle regularly get over 40,000 at St. James Park, and they have been up for sale for a year and WHam get more than 50,000 in their "borrowed" stadium, and they still have bills to pay. Saints are likely no worse than that.

This kind of "Fake News" is meant to panic those who need frequent nappy changes, or to unsettle certain players who may fear for their future. We March on.

IWOZTHERE added 15:16 - Jun 24
All clubs are 'in it'. it's just the depth that varies....SFC must be suffering more than most though, having p!ssed away £100m on players who are not assets in respect of playing ability or values.

halftimeorange added 11:52 - Jun 25
Sorry - I though I'd read that RH has just signed a new four-year deal. Am I to take it that he has been advised by SFC that we are in deep do-do and will probably cease trading before he completes his stint? Or is it more likely that he has been given guarantees, in which case the board has lied to him or demonstrated that the club has a viable plan for the future?

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