Saints History

On 28th March 2010, over 50,000 Saints fans travelled to Wembley Stadium to see their side win their first piece of silverware in 34 years as goals from Lambert, Adam Lallana, Papa Waigo and Michail Antonio secured a 4-1 win over Carlisle United.

In the end, Southampton finished the season in seventh, one spot and seven points short of a place in the play-offs. Dark days would return in the summer when Liebherr sadly passed away in August 2010 at the age of 62, but the club would recover and go on to fulfil his legacy in the best possible way.

After a stuttering start to the 2010/11 campaign, Nigel Adkins was brought in as manager, moving down a division after helping Scunthorpe United twice win promotion to the Championship.

Young players like Lallana, Morgan Schneiderlin and the emerging Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain flourished as Saints battled their way into the automatic promotion places on New Year's Day 2011. Promotion was all-but secured with victory at Plymouth Argyle on 2nd May, and was mathematically sealed in the final game of the season a week later.

Back in the Championship after a two-year absence, players such as Jack Cork, Jos Hooiveld and Danny Fox arrived as Saints hit the ground running, winning six of their first seven matches to go top of the league by mid-September.

By Christmas, Southampton had been beaten just four times in the Championship and were on the verge of going a calendar year unbeaten at home in the league only to lose to relegation-threatened Bristol City on 30th December.

In early February 2012, the club announced that it had begun development on the new Football Development & Support Centre, a cutting-edge new facility at its Staplewood Training Ground in Marchwood.

Saints' on-field progress continued as they returned to the top of the division in February midway through a 12-game unbeaten run that lasted almost two months.

Nevertheless, Saints were kept under pressure by West Ham and late-comers Reading, and had to wait until the last day of the season to ensure promotion by beating Coventry City to secure second place and a return to the Premier League after a seven-year sojourn.

In the following season academy graduates James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw, both still teenagers, broke into the side early on, playing regularly in the Premier League alongside the likes of Lambert, Schneiderlin, Lallana and Fonte – all of whom had been playing for the club in League 1 just two years earlier.

On Boxing Day 2012, Southampton appointed Terry Paine MBE – its all-time record appearance-maker, with 816 games for Saints – as Honorary Club President.

After a mixed first half of the season, Saints appointed former Argentina international Mauricio Pochettino as First Team Manager following his three-year spell in charge of Spanish top-flight side RCD Espanyol.

He quickly set about enhancing Southampton's reputation with memorable home wins over Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea as Premier League safety was secured with a game to spare.

The transfer record was against broken twice in the summer of 2013 as in-demand midfielder Victor Wanyama arrived from Celtic and Italy international striker Dani Osvaldo moved from Roma.

With a squad consisting of international stars, Academy graduates and players who had experienced the club's rise through the division, the 2013/14 season began with a clear message: our dream is real.

The team started the new campaign brightly, and ended the season with a new Premier League record of 56 points, and an eighth place finish - the best they had achieved since 2003.

Midway through the season on Wednesday 15th January 2014, Nicola Cortese resigned from his position as Executive Chairman. Katharina Liebherr, the owner of the Club, took up the title of non-executive Chairman as a result.

Two months later, on Wednesday 12th March, Liebherr appointed Ralph Krueger as the new Chairman of Southampton Football Club. Krueger, a Canadian-born German who previously played and coached ice hockey at a professional level, joined the Board of Directors of St Mary’s Football Group Limited (formerly DMSWL613 Ltd), along with Gareth Rogers, the Club's Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Les Reed. Following the resignation of Mauricio Pochettino after the 2013/14 season, the new board sourced former Holland international Ronald Koeman as the Argentine's replacement in the dug-out at St Mary's.

Koeman swiftly galvanised a squad which had the heart ripped out of it by some big money departures in that summer.

He helped to source replacements who hit the ground running at St Mary’s, with the likes of Graziano Pellè, Dušan Tadić and Sadio Mané coming to England with a point to prove.

Koeman, assisted by his brother Erwin, fitness coach Jan Kluitenberg, former Saints man Sammy Lee and England goalkeeper coach Dave Watson formed a new-look coaching set-up which in their first season helped guide the club to a best ever Premier League finish of seventh place.

That brought with it Europa League football which returned to St Mary’s for the first time in 12 years, confirming the club’s status as an established top half Premier League team.

The Markus Liebherr pavilion was also unveiled, with the club's outstanding new training facilities opened and inhabited by the first team and academy's support staff.

If the 2014/15 season had been one to savour, what was to follow in 2015/16 was even more spectacular.

While it began in frustrating circumstances, with an exit from the Europa League play-off stages at the hands of Danish champions FC Midtjylland, things soon were on an upward trajectory again.

Famous wins over the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City ensured a new record Premier League finish, as Saints secured sixth position and qualification for the group stages of the Europa League.

They would go into them under the guidance of Claude Puel, the former Monaco, Lille, Lyon and Nice boss, who replaced Koeman, after he left to join Everton.

Puel, joined by coaches Eric Black and Pascal Plancque, would lead Southampton to the League Cup final, beating Premier League sides at each stage, including a famous semi-final success over Liverpool.

Sadly, a cruel 3-2 defeat would follow in the final against Manchester United, despite Saints being viewed as the better side on the day.

An eighth-placed finish would also be secured, on 46 points – 17 less than the tally a year previously – with the club parting company with Puel in the summer.

Replacing him was Mauricio Pellegrino, who was appointed manager in June 2017.

The Argentinian boss, who previously played and coached at Valencia and Liverpool, arrived after leading Spanish side Alaves to one of the greatest seasons in their history.

August 2017 would also see a new face at the top of the club, as a new partnership was reached with Chinese businessman Mr Jisheng Gao.

Pellegrino's spell in charge came to an end in March 2018, as the club replaced him on a short-term deal with former striker Mark Hughes, ahead of the final eight matches of the Premier League campaign.

After defeat in his opening three matches, Hughes would oversee a crucial upturn in fortunes right at the end of the season, as Saints took eight points from four matches, including a home win over Bournemouth and a famous 1-0 win away at fellow battlers Swansea, thanks to Manolo Gabbiadini's second-half goal.

It was enough to see the club retain its Premier League status, with Hughes handed a three-year contract in the summer.

The next season did not start as hoped, though, with one win in the team's opening 14 league matches resulting in the club parting company with Hughes.

A swift appointment was made, as Austrian boss Ralph Hasenhüttl, who had carved out a burgeoning reputation in Germany, notably at RB Leipzig, who he took to second place in the Bundesliga, was appointed in December 2018.

Hasenhüttl went on to keep the team in the Premier League, with a dramatic 3-2 win over Arsenal in his first home match one of a number of highlights in the second half of the campaign, as Saints ultimately finished 16th.

An 11th-place finish in Hasenhüttl's first full season in charge would follow, in 2019/20, before the side ended 2020/21 in 15th. That campaign was also notable for Saints holding top spot in the Premier League for a short period, after a 2-0 home win over Newcastle in November.

On 4th January 2022, Sport Republic acquired the ownership of Southampton Football Club, by purchasing a controlling stake.

The investment firm in the sports and entertainment industry purchased the shareholding of the club held by Mr Gao, with Katharina Liebherr retaining her minority shareholding.