Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese handed in his resignation letter to Saints owner Katharina Liebherr and promptly had it rejected, according to Sky Sports.
It’s the latest twist in a power struggle between the chairman and his owner, one that could ultimately cost Southampton the services of its managerial maestro, Mauricio Pochettino.
There are two parts to the disagreement. For one thing, Liebherr wants to sell the club. Its value is as high as ever and she wants to capitalize, while Cortese prefers to wait.
Cortese wants sole control of the club’s direction and is said to be tired of Liebherr’s interference in his plans. Both parties have played massive roles, the Liebherr family with bankroll and Cortese with football operations, as Southampton has shot from the bottom of League One to the Premier League.
While the Liebherr name remains on the title, Katharina’s relationship with Cortese is a lot different than the chairman’s relationship with her late father Markhus… and it’s strained at that.
Cortese wants to spend more money to push the Saints toward European contention. Liebherr disagrees but has to deal with the very real risk that Pochettino will abide by his public comments to walk away with Cortese.
How many clubs would instantly do away with their current manager to land Pochettino? Would he want to stay in the Premier League or join a European giant? So many questions and Saints supporters surely don’t want to see the answers.