BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Crouch defends his Saints regime


Former chairman Leon Crouch has said Southampton would be a top six Championship club this season if he was still at the helm.

Crouch stepped down last May after major shareholders Rupert Lowe and Michael Wilde returned to the club.

"We had a good manager (Nigel Pearson) and the fans were coming back," Crouch told BBC Radio Solent.

"We had young players playing well and I think we would have pushed on and been up in the top six."

Pearson also left St Mary's in May after leading the club to Championship survival, to be replaced by Jan Poortvliet.

But the Dutchman resigned last week, with Saints deep in a relegation battle after having to rely on young players while the experienced members of the squad were loaned out to cut costs.

And Crouch is in no doubt the club would also be in ruder financial health if he was still in charge.

"I had started to run the club myself with the mandate of the board," he said.

"I had the support of the bank, Norwich Union and Deloittes.

"I believe the club would be in a much better financial situation had I still been in charge instead of Rupert and Michael.

"They have done some cost-cutting measures but the fans don't want them at the club.

"They are not prepared to come through the gates and pay the money to watch this football that is not winning games.

"You need to play football that attracts the punters through the gates."

Print Sponsor

see also
Poortvliet resigns as Saints boss
23 Jan 09 |  Southampton
Crouch admits to investor talks
05 May 08 |  Southampton
Crouch is Saints acting chairman
02 Mar 07 |  Southampton
Southampton chairman steps down
26 Feb 07 |  Southampton
Three Southampton FC bosses quit
17 Dec 07 |  Business
Saints chairman Lowe stands down
30 Jun 06 |  Hampshire

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites