• Premier League

Southampton chairman Cortese considering exit

ESPN staff
January 15, 2014
Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese is at odds with the club's owner © PA Photos

Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese is weighing up whether to leave the club, according to the BBC.

It is believed Cortese is at odds with owner Katharina Liebherr, who became a trustee of the club after the death of her father Markus in August 2010 but has no interest in football.

Cortese has yet to come to a decision, though could make his exit at the end of the season having considered his position in May. There is uncertainty over the future of the club under Liebherr, with Cortese only deciding to stay this season having received the necessary assurances.

Southampton have risen from the depths of League One under Cortese, a former Swiss banker, with manager Mauricio Pochettino last season saying he would follow his chairman out of the club were he to depart.

"I would not understand staying in this role if Nicola was not here," Pochettino said. "The person who actually called me from the start, told me about the project and put the faith in me, was Nicola."

Cortese bought Southampton in 2009 on behalf of wealthy Swiss investor Markus Liebherr, taking the club out of administration which had brought them a 10-point penalty and left them at the foot of League One for the start of the 2009-10 season.

After Liebherr's death, the club went on to finish seventh before sealing back-to-back promotions under Nigel Adkins to return to the Premier League after seven years.

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