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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Southampton confirm Woodward exit
Sir Clive Woodward
Woodward had a turbulent 13 months at St Mary's
Sir Clive Woodward has left his full-time post as technical support director at Southampton.

The 50-year-old surprisingly moved into football last July after previously working in rugby union, where he led England to the World Cup in 2003.

But Woodward found himself increasingly marginalised at St Mary's since chairman Rupert Lowe left in June.

Woodward is set to set up his own sporting consultancy business, which will work across a variety of sports.

He missed out on a return to rugby earlier this month, when the Rugby Football Union overlooked him for their elite director of rugby role in favour of Rob Andrew.

And Southampton said Woodward will continue to work with them in a "consultancy" role at the club.

"Clive's new agreement with the club will allow him to undertake work for other football clubs and sporting organisations while continuing to offer technical support to Southampton," read a Saints statement.

Clive has made a considerable difference to the organisation of this club

Southampton chairman Michael Wilde

Woodward said: "I am enormously grateful for the opportunity Southampton and its supporters have given me.

"I have been massively impressed by the professionalism in every department at the club and the commitment of all the staff to succeed and get back into the Premiership."

He surprised the football world when he joined Southampton - under the chairmanship of his friend Lowe - in July 2005, having previously worked in rugby.

Appointed as a technical director, Woodward - who admitted his ultimate aim was to become a manager - soon had to deny reports of an uneasy relationship with Saints manager Harry Redknapp and coach Dave Bassett.

But not long after Redknapp and Woodward held a joint press conference to insist there were no problems between them, the veteran manager walked out to take over at Portsmouth.

Sir Clive Woodward and Harry Redknapp
Woodward and Redknapp did not work together for long

Woodward's position was also weakened by the acrimonious departure of head of sports science Simon Clifford, a key figure in Woodward's vision for the club.

Appointed to a director of football role when George Burley arrived as manager, Woodward then became embroiled in disputes with investors - some of whom openly questioned whether he should be working in football - looking to take over at St Mary's.

Nevertheless, new chairman Michael Wilde paid tribute to Woodward's work at the club.

"Clive has made a considerable difference to the organisation of this club over the last 12 months," he said.

"He has opened our eyes to new methods of training which have been introduced to positive effect."

In rugby, Woodward won 21 caps for England and played for the Lions before embarking on a coaching career which was characterised by his willingness to experiment with new methods.

He coached Henley, London Irish and Bath, and took over as England coach in 1997, eventually winning the World Cup in 2003. His final coaching job in rugby was to preside over the Lions' disastrous tour of New Zealand in 2005.

SEE ALSO
No grudge against Woodward - RFU
20 Aug 06 |  English
Saints chairman Lowe steps down
30 Jun 06 |  Southampton
Woodward keeps his options open
07 May 06 |  Internationals
Woodward leads Saints revolution
14 Apr 06 |  Southampton
Saints exit inevitable - Woodward
14 Apr 06 |  Southampton
Woodward considering legal action
08 Feb 06 |  Southampton
Saintly or sinful?
24 Dec 05 |  Southampton
Coach Clifford leaves Southampton
15 Nov 05 |  Southampton
Redknapp and Woodward deny rift
29 Sep 05 |  Southampton
Woodward says 'I'm here to learn'
25 Jul 05 |  Southampton
Southampton confirm Woodward move
22 Jun 05 |  Southampton


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