Monday, October 15, 2012
The news shocked much of the football world
The news shocked much of the football world, as Redknapp had resigned as manager of Saints' arch-rivals Portsmouth just days previously. He brought in a number of new signings, including his own sonJamie Redknapp in the attempt to survive relegation. However, Redknapp's efforts were all in vain as West Bromwich Albion secured survival at Southampton's expense. Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery
Having survived for many years on a budget a fraction of most of their Premiership rivals, Southampton were finally condemned to relegation.
Lowe and Southampton continued to make headlines after former England Rugby World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward joined the club—eventually being appointed Technical Director. Sony VAIO VPCF116FGBI Battery
Saints made a disappointing start to life back in the second tier of English football, with the emergence of young star Theo Walcott as a rare cause for optimism.
On 24 November 2005, Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin, the man who himself replaced Harry Redknapp at Southampton's arch-rivals, was sacked by chairman Milan Mandaric. Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery
Rumours gradually grew apace that Mandaric and Redknapp had resolved the dispute that caused Redknapp to walk out in the first place, and that he was poised to rejoin his former club.
With these rumours seemingly reaching breaking point in the media—not to mention the bookmakers—Redknapp walked out on Southampton on 3 December 2005. Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery
The two rival clubs found themselves at loggerheads over legal compensation, which threatened to leave Redknapp in limbo, but with the dispute eventually resolved, Redknapp rejoined Portsmouth on 7 December 2005. After three matches under caretaker manager Dave Bassett and assistant Dennis Wise, Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery
George Burley was unveiled as the club's new head coach on 23 December to work alongside Clive Woodward, who was promoted from Performance Director to Director of Football.
In the wake of overwhelming calls for him to stand down, Lowe eventually resigned on 30 June 2006, Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery
a few days before an Extraordinary General Meeting that was predicted to see him removed from the club's board. He was replaced as Chairman by Jersey-based businessman Michael Wilde who had become the club's major shareholder.
During the 2006–07 season, the board set about trying to secure new investment in the club. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery
However, on 26 February 2007, it was announced that Michael Wilde would step down as chairman of the football club on 28 February. On 2 March, it was announced that Leon Crouch would take the role of "acting Chairman" until the end of that season, when the Board would reassess the situation. Crouch was reportedly fired on 21 July 2007. Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery
In April 2007, it was rumoured that Paul Allen, the American entrepreneur who formed Microsoft with Bill Gates, might launch a takeover bid for the club. These rumours were later confirmed when the club announced that Allen had made a preliminary offer although Allen subsequently denied any such interest. Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery
On 22 October 2007, it was announced the club's p.l.c. board had received a takeover bid from an unknown investor which would purchase 55% of the shares in the company. Two days later, a London-based hedge fund, SISU Capital, was named as the potential new owner. The self-described "special situations investment fund management company"Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery
has previously attempted to gain control of Derby County and Manchester City; former footballer Ray Ranson was involved with both bids, and SISU intended to nominate him for a place on the Southampton board. However, on 14 December it was confirmed that SISU had completed a takeover of Coventry City, effectively ending their interest in Southampton. Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery
The day before a proposed EGM to reinstate Lowe along with Wilde was to take place, the remaining board room members bar David Jones resigned, allowing Lowe and Wilde to return; Wilde as Chairman of Southampton Football Club and Rupert Lowe as Chairman of Southampton Leisure Holdings p.l.c.Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery
Southampton's off-the-field controversy affected their on-the-field fortunes substantially during 2005–06, and at one point they were in real danger of a second successive relegation. But their form improved during the final weeks of the season and they finished a secure twelfth. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery
The good form which secured Southampton's Championship status in 2005–06 was carried through to the start of the 2006–07 season, and the turn of the year saw the team in fourth place in the table. The new board of directors had spent a club record £6 million on transfers. Polish strikers Grzegorz Rasiak and Marek Saganowski and 17 year-old left back Gareth Baleall had great runs in form. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery
A drastic loss in the team's form overall, coupled with poor displays against fellow promotion hopefuls, saw the team drop to eighth place by mid–March 2007, and rapidly losing touch with the promotion race. However, with other promotion rivals dropping points and a small run of form in late April, Southampton were able to reach sixth place, the last play-off position. Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery
They lost the home leg of their playoff semi-final to Derby County, and on 15 May achieved parity on aggregate but lost on penalties in a thrilling encounter.
Since relegation, the club has had to sell players to meet the shortfall in income. A number of players from the club's academy have been sold for large sums, such as Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery
The 2007–08 season went much worse for Southampton with George Burley revealing that players such as Gareth Bale and Kenwyne Jones had to be sold to stop the club going into administration and that not getting promoted put the club in serious financial troubles. New players such as Youssef Safri and Stern John were brought in, Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery
but Southampton made an inconsistent start to the season being lodged in mid-table around the Christmas period. However, manager Burley left the club in January to take over as Scotland manager and in the January transfer window two more important players in Grzegorz Rasiak and Rudi Skacel were loaned out. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery
Jason Dodd and John Gorman took charge initially for what was intended to be the rest of the season. However, they failed to win a league game, and the team slipped alarmingly near to the relegation zone. In February Southampton appointed Nigel Pearson as manager. Under Pearson's management Southampton narrowly avoided the drop by beating Sheffield United 3–2 on the final day of the season.Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery
Even though Pearson kept the Saints up, the Southampton board did not renew his contract, because of financial constraints. By now, Michael Wilde and Rupert Lowe had replaced Leon Crouch as chairmen, and the new board brought in the relatively unknown Dutchman Jan Poortvliet as manager. Sony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ Battery
The Club's financial troubles continued to mount, resulting in more players being sold or loaned out to lower the wage bill and parts of St Mary's were closed off to reduce costs. Due to their financial troubles, the club had to rely on youth and put out a very young side. Although they had a poor first half to the season, young players such asAndrew Surman, Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery
Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin emerged as potential stars.
On 23 January 2009, Poortvliet resigned with the club one from bottom in the Championship, with Mark Wotte taking over managerial duties.
On 23 April 2009, Southampton were handed a 10 point deduction, following their parent company going into administration. Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery
This deduction ensured that Southampton were relegated from the Football League Championship and played the 2009–10 season in League One. Although the rules of the Football Leaguestate that a 10 point deduction would only be incurred if the club went into administration, Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery
an enquiry reported that the finances of the parent company and the club were linked to an extent that they were practically the same company/club. However the administrators and the club lawyers believed that the sanction given was unfair and "completely against the rules."
After failure to beat Burnley in the penultimate game of the season on 25 April 2009, Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery
which ended in a 2–2 draw, Southampton confirmed their relegation from the Championship. This also meant that they would start in League One (third tier of English Football for the first time in 50 years) with minus 10 points, within six years of being FA Cup runners-up, UEFA Cup participants and the eighth placed team in the Premier League. Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery
By the end of May 2009, the club was unable to meet its staff wages commitments, and asked employees to work unpaid as a gesture of goodwill. Despite his statement opposing the sanctions a month earlier, administrator Mark Fry warned that the club now faced imminent bankruptcy unless a buyer was found. Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery
The following day, the Matt Le Tissier backed Pinnacle consortium paid a non-refundable fee of £500,000 to gain "exclusivity" for 21 days, which meant that the employees at the club could be paid. That period of exclusivity lapsed on 19 June without a deal being completed as the Football League refused to give the necessary approval of the proposed take-over unless Pinnacle waived any right to appeal against the ten-point deduction. Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery
The decision was confirmed by a meeting of the Football League Board on 21 June
On 26 June 2009, administrator Mark Fry made a statement in which he said he had negotiations with two other groups of investors. He also confirmed that no group had an exclusivity deal and potential buyers will have to move straight away to purchase the club. Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery
This was followed by a statement from the Pinnacle group that they would accept the ten point penalty enforced by the Football League in order that the takeover of the club may be completed.
On 30 June 2009 it was reported that the Matt Le Tissier-backed Pinnacle Consortium had withdrawn their offer for the club. Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery
They "up-turned tables" after a mystery overseas consortium announced that they were close to a deal after lawyers were in negotiations for the club.
On 8 July 2009 the administrators confirmed that the club had been sold to a buyer "owned and controlled by Markus Liebherr". Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery
On 9 July 2009 Mark Wotte was sacked as Head Coach with Stewart Henderson taking temporary charge. The club confirmed that the search for the new manager had already begun. They said in a statement that the decision is part of a wider strategic plan being implemented to improve all aspects of the club's operations, both on and off the field. Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery
On 17 July 2009 the club confirmed the appointment of Alan Pardew as the new First Team Manager. On the opening day of the season Saints forced a 1–1 draw against Millwall, with Matthew Paterson netting the club's first goal in League One. Following this, the Saints made their first big signing under Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery
Markus Liebherr as they unveiled new striker Rickie Lambert who was purchased on 10 August 2009, for an initial £800,000, which could rise to £1m subject to appearances, from fellow League One side Bristol Rovers.
Markus Liebherr has also brought in Italian businessman Nicola Cortese to look after the club's business interests on his behalf. Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery
As well as Rickie Lambert, Pardew was given the funds to complete a string of other signings to rebuild the squad including: Dean Hammond [undisclosed], Radhi Jaïdi [free], Graeme Murty [free], Dan Harding [free], David Connolly [free], Michail Antonio [loan], Papa Waigo [loan], Lee Barnard [undisclosed], Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery
José Fonte[£1.2M], Danny Seaborne [undisclosed], Jon Otsemobor [free] and Jason Puncheon [believed to be £198,000], meaning that by the end of the January transfer window, Southampton had spent over £3 million on players, a significantly larger amount than any other League One club. Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery
On 28 March 2010, Southampton won their first trophy since 1976 when they defeated Carlisle United 4–1 at Wembley, to claim the Football League Trophy.
Southampton finished the 2009–10 season in 7th place, 7 points from the last play-off position in League One. Sony VAIO VGN-SR70B/S Battery
In celebration of the club's 125th anniversary a new home shirt was unveiled on 10 June 2010. The design was based on the original St. Mary's YMA kit used in 1885 and featured the new anniversary crest as well being without a sponsor's logo. The away kit was released a short time later. This kit had a black shirt, black shorts (both with red trim) and red socks (with black trim). Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/P Battery
As with the home kit the away kit contained no main shirt sponsor and new crest.
It was announced on 11 August 2010 that Markus Liebherr had died; however the club's future had been assured and planned for before Liebherr's death.
On 30 August 2010, Alan Pardew was sacked as first team manager. Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/S Battery
Dean Wilkins was installed as caretaker manager for a three game period while the club started its search for a new manager. On 12 September, Nigel Adkins was announced as the new Southampton manager, joining from Scunthorpe United on a three year deal along with his assistant Andy Crosby. Sony VAIO VGN-SR73JB/S Battery
The two had a positive impact early on as they guided Southampton into the League One Play-Off positions for the first time after a 4–0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge at St Mary's on 2 November 2010 going on to enter the top two on New Year's Day 2011 after a 4–0 win at home to Exeter City. Sony VAIO VGN-SR74FB/S Battery
The great start to the year continued as they knocked out Premier League Blackpool with a 2–0 win in the third round of the FA Cup and three days later got an amazing 6–0 away win at Oldham Athletic and in the process securing a fifth straight victory.
On 17 March 2011, it was announced that Southampton based business and IT solutions provider aap³ had signed a three year deal to become the clubs headline sponsor. Sony VAIO VGN-SR90FS Battery
On 2 May 2011, Southampton effectively achieved promotion to the Championship after a 3–1 win at Plymouth Argyle, which was confirmed on 7 May with a 3–1 victory over Walsall.
On return to the Championship, Southampton made a blistering start to the season and stormed to the top of the table winning their first four league games for the first time in their history. Sony VAIO VGN-SR90NS Battery
They beat Leeds 3–1 and Millwall 1–0 at home, and beat Barnsley 1–0 and Ipswich 5–2 away. This also extended their club record to 10 consecutive league victories. Southampton soon secured their best start to a season for 75 years when they beat Nottingham Forest 3–2 at St Mary's, taking 15 points from a possible 18 and then beat Birmingham City 4–1 at home to go top of the league and extend their winning run at St Mary's to 13 league games, creating a new club record. Sony VAIO VGN-SR90S Battery
They then avoided defeat for another week thanks to an 80th minute goal from Morgan Schneiderlin against Burnley which secured them a 1–1 draw against the side at Turf Moor. The Saints' convincing start to the campaign continued until home form wavered, with a 2–2 draw withBlackpool on 10 December, Sony VAIO VGN-SR90US Battery
the first time all 3 points had not been claimed at home since drawing 0–0 to Notts County on Saturday 15 January 2011. This was following an injury to keeper Kelvin Davis which brought Bartosz Białkowski back into the starting 11, and who gave a poor performance, letting a 30 yard effort from Chris Basham slip between his hands and legs and roll into the back of the net. Sony VAIO VGN-SR91NS Battery
The Saints' then entered the first South Coast Derby league game for 6 years against bitter rivals Portsmouth on Saturday 18 December on doubtful form, having only taken 1 point in the last 2 games, but still managed to secure a point after Rickie Lambert gave the Saints the lead following a headed goal from a Fox free kick. Sony VAIO VGN-SR91PS Battery
Joel Ward headed in from a corner to equalise late in the game and the match finished 1–1. Despite a 2–0 Boxing Day home win over Crystal Palace, the Saints' poor form continued into the new year, where they were dubbed by the media as having a 'New Years Hangover', entering 2012 with a 3–0 away defeat to South coast rivals Brighton, which saw talisman Rickie Lambert sent off with a straight red card. Sony VAIO VGN-SR91S Battery
The 2012 January transfer window brought Japanese striker Tadanari Lee to the South coast side along with Doncaster talisman striker Billy Sharp for a rumoured fee of £1.8m. Sharp had previously snubbed Southampton's interest in the 2011 transfer window, and promotion favourites Leicester in January, and chose to sell his service to the Saints where promotion to the Premier League seemed most likely. Sony VAIO VGN-SR91US Battery
Sharp scored his first goal for Southampton on his home debut in a 2–0 win over Burnley on 11 February 2012. He then scored twice in a 2–0 home victory over former club Doncaster Rovers on 24 March. Lee scored his first Southampton goal in fantastic style, with a rocket strike at home against Derby County. Sony VAIO VGN-SR92NS Battery
The goal was the 4th of the afternoon and secured a 4–0 victory, and later voted by the club as goal of the season.
Whereas home form continued to waver with a 2–0 defeat to Leicester, away form picked up dramatically, with a convincing 3–0 away win at struggling Nottingham Forest, despite Lambert's absence. Sony VAIO VGN-SR92PS Battery
A draw at home to Cardiff at the end of January would see Saints' home form start to turn around while they continued to take points on the road, with welcomed draws against promotion pushing Birmingham and West Ham, a 3–0 win, and Lambert's third hat-trick of the campaign at Watford, Sony VAIO VGN-SR92S Battery
and an emphatic 3–2 victory at The New Den, where Saints had trailed 2–1 to Millwall until 2 Lambert penalties in the last 5 minutes saw Lambert secure his fourth hat-trick and another key 3 points for what seemed like Southampton's inevitable promotion, as they were 2 points clear at the top of the table and 5 points clear of the 3rd spot. Sony VAIO VGN-SR92US Battery
By now the Saints' home form had been near restored, with victories in the league against Burnley, Derby, Barnsley and Doncaster, and a draw against Ipswich Town.
The home leg of the South Coast Derby between Southampton and Pompey came on Saturday 7th, Sony VAIO VGN-SR93DS Battery
where table topping Saints were clear favourites against Portsmouth who sat in 23rd place and seriously threatened by relegation. A first half goal from Billy Sharp gave Saints the lead until they were pegged back before half time by an impressive left-footed strike by Chris Maguire at the opposite end. Sony VAIO VGN-SR93JS Battery
When another 1–1 draw looked inevitable, Sharp nodded in from a corner and St Mary's erupted as it looked like Southampton would defeat their bitter South coast rivals for the first time since January 2005 in the FA Cup. However, with one minute left of added time, David Norris vollied the ball from 30 yards in front of the Northam end, to blast past Kelvin Davis and send the blues back to Portsmouth with a much welcomed point. Sony VAIO VGN-SR93PS Battery
Southampton's run in would prove dramatic, as Reading's impeccable form continued, with 6 consecutive league wins prior to their meeting with Saints on Friday 13 April, a match that was believed by many to be the Championship title decider. Reading ran out 3–1 victors as Saints stumbled to their first home defeat in the league since mid-January and Reading celebrated going 3 points clear at the top of the table. Sony VAIO VGN-SR93YS Battery
The Saints however were back to winning ways with a 3–1 victory away at Peterborough on Tuesday 17 April, which meant that promotion to the Premier League could be sealed with a win at Middlesbrough as West Ham had only managed a draw away to Bristol City. 4,000 away fans made the 300 mile journey to the Riverside Stadium and the celebrations started early, Sony VAIO VGN-SR94FS Battery
when Sharp netted after just 46 seconds after a square pass played unselfishly by Lambert was tapped home. However, two Boro goals saw the Saints left bitterly disappointed. It also meant that the Saints could no longer catch Reading who were confirmed as champions. But the Saints left with the knowledge that promotion could be sealed by a win on home soil against Coventry. Sony VAIO VGN-SR94GS Battery
Promotion to the Premier league after the Saints' 7 year absence was achieved after a 4–0 demolition of relegated Coventry, with goals from Lallana, Sharp,Hooiveld, and Jose Fonte, which was his first goal of the campaign. The game also set a record attendance at the St Mary's Stadium, of 32,363 fans. Rickie Lambert finished the season as the Championship's top goalscorer with 27 league goals. Sony VAIO VGN-SR94HS Battery
This was his third 'Golden Boot' in four seasons. He also won the Championship Player of the Year award for 2011–12.
On 28 April 2012, a 4–0 home win over Coventry City secured the club's return to the Premier League. Sony VAIO VGN-SR94VS Battery
Southampton finished as runners-up in the Championship with 88 points, having not fallen out of the top two since their 3–1 victory over Leeds United on the opening day of the season.