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Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 18:18 UK

Southampton & Wotte part company

Mark Wotte
Wotte had been in charge at Southampton since January

Head coach Mark Wotte has parted company with Southampton just 24 hours after the club were taken over by Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr.

The Dutchman took over from previous boss Jan Poortvliet in January on a short-term basis, and had only signed a new rolling 12-month deal last week.

A Saints spokesperson said: "We are very grateful for the work Mark has done and the loyalty he has shown."

Stuart Henderson will take charge of the first-team on a short-term basis.

Earlier on Thursday, Wotte told BBC Radio Solent that he expected to stay in charge.

"I signed a contract as manager for at least one year, so there is no indication they want to change that," he said.

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"They were happy with me that I was loyal to the club, that I kept things running and they expressed that they were grateful."

But a statement on Southampton's website made it clear that the club's gratitude did not extend to keeping Wotte in his role.

"Our decision is part of a wider strategic plan being implemented to improve all aspects of the club's operation, both on and off the field.

"In keeping with this plan we can confirm that the search for a new manager has already begun.

"Our search will be conducted in a systematic and professional manner. We will find the right candidate, who will fulfil the criteria necessary to move the club forward."

Wotte recently turned down a job in Egypt to remain with the Saints, despite the uncertainty over the future of the St Mary's club.

Saints had faced a race against time to find a new buyer after front-runners the Pinnacle group, which included Saints legend Matt Le Tissier, pulled out on Tuesday.



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see also
Saints' Davis turns down Hammers
09 Jul 09 |  Southampton
Swiss seals Southampton takeover
08 Jul 09 |  Southampton
Wotte agrees to stay on at Saints
01 Jul 09 |  Southampton
Midfielder Surman moves to Wolves
01 Jul 09 |  Wolves
Pinnacle pulls out of Saints bid
30 Jun 09 |  Southampton
Wotte fears Saints player exodus
25 Jun 09 |  Southampton
Pinnacle argue over Saints appeal
22 Jun 09 |  Southampton
Wotte future hangs in the balance
15 Jun 09 |  Southampton


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