Southampton F.C.

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Southampton F.C.
Full name Southampton Football Club
Nickname(s) The Saints
Founded 21 November 1885; 135 years ago (1885-11-21) as St. Mary's Y.M.A.
Ground The Dell (1898–2001)
St Mary's Stadium (since 2001)
Ground Capacity 32,505[1]
Owner Katharina Liebherr
Chairman Ralph Krueger[2]
Manager Ronald Koeman[3]
League Premier League
2014–15 Premier League, 7th
Website Club home page
Current season

Southampton Football Club Listeni/sθˈæmptən, -hæmptən/ is an English football club, nicknamed The Saints, based in the city of Southampton, Hampshire, who currently compete in the Premier League.

The Saints' home ground since 2001 has been St Mary's Stadium, before which they were based at The Dell. The club has been nicknamed "The Saints" since its inception in 1885 due to its history as a church football team, founded as St Mary's Church of England Young Men's Association (or St. Mary's Y.M.A) and has since generally played in red and white shirts. The club has a long-standing rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity and both cities' respective maritime history. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast derby.

The club has won the FA Cup once in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84.[4] Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005, ending 27 successive seasons of top-division football for the club.[5] They returned after a seven-year absence, and have played there ever since.


Chart of yearly table positions of Southampton in the Football League.

Foundation and Southern League

Southampton were founded at St. Mary's Church, on 21 November 1885 by members of the St. Mary's Church of England Young Men's Association.

St. Mary's Y.M.A., as they were usually referred to in the local press, played most of their early games on The Common where games were frequently interrupted by pedestrians insistent on exercising their right to roam. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Cricket Ground in Northlands Road or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Mary's Road.

The club was originally known as St. Mary's Young Men's Association F.C. (usually abbreviated to "St. Mary's Y.M.A.") and then became simply St. Mary's F.C. in 1887–88, before adopting the name Southampton St. Mary's when the club joined the Southern League in 1894. After winning the Southern League title in 1896–97, the club became a limited company and was renamed Southampton F.C.

Southampton won the Southern League championship for three years running between 1897 and 1899 and again in 1901, 1903 and 1904. During this time, they moved to a newly built £10,000 stadium called The Dell, to the North-West of the city centre in 1898. Although they would spend the next 103 years there, the future was far from certain in those early days and the club had to rent the premises first before they could stump up the cash to buy the stadium in the early part of the 20th century. The club reached the first of their four FA Cup Finals in 1900. On that day they went down 4–0 to Bury and two years later they would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Sheffield United as they were beaten 2–1 in a replay of the 1902 final.

Joining the Football League

After the First World War, Saints joined the newly formed Football League Third Division in 1920 which split into South and North sections a year later. The 1921–22 season ended in triumph with promotion and marked the beginning of a 31-year stay in the Second Division.

The 1922–23 season was a unique "Even Season" – 14 wins, 14 draws, 14 defeats for a total of 42 points, or one point per game. Goals For and Against were also equal and the team finished in mid-table.

In 1925 and 1927, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 and 2–1 to Sheffield United and Arsenal respectively.

Saints were briefly forced to switch home matches to the ground of their local rivals Portsmouth at Fratton Park during the Second World War when a bomb landed on The Dell pitch in November 1940, leaving an 18-foot crater which damaged an underground culvert and flooded the pitch.

Promotion was narrowly missed in 1947–48 when they finished in third place, a feat repeated the following season (despite having an eight-point lead with eight games to play) whilst in 1949–50 they were to be denied promotion by 0.06 of a goal, missing out on second place to Sheffield United. In the 1948–49 and 1949–50 seasons, Charlie Wayman rattled in a total of 56 goals. Then relegation in 1953 sent Saints sliding back into Division 3 (South).

It took until 1960 for Saints to regain Second Division status with Derek Reeves plundering 39 of the champions’ 106 league goals. On 27 April 1963 a crowd of 68,000 at Villa Park saw them lose 1–0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final.

Reaching the First Division and cup win

In 1966 when Ted Bates’ team were promoted to the First Division as runners-up, with Martin Chivers scoring 30 of Saints' 85 league goals.

For the following campaign Ron Davies arrived to score 43 goals in his first season. Saints stayed among the elite for eight years, with the highest finishing position being seventh place in 1968–69 and again in 1970–71. These finishes were high enough for them to qualify for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969–70 (going out in Round 3 to Newcastle United) and its successor, the UEFA Cup in 1971–72, when they went out in the First Round to Athletic Bilbao.

In December 1973, Bates stood down to be replaced by his assistant Lawrie McMenemy. The Saints were one of the first victims of the new three-down relegation system in 1974.

Under McMenemy's management, Saints started to rebuild in the Second Division, capturing players such as Peter Osgood, Jim McCalliog, Jim Steele and Peter Rodrigues (captain) and in 1976, Southampton reached the FA Cup Final, playing Manchester United at Wembley, and beat much-fancied United 1–0 with a goal from Bobby Stokes. The following season, they played in Europe again in the Cup Winners' Cup, reaching Round 3 where they lost 2–3 on aggregate to Anderlecht.

Return to First Division

In 1977–78, captained by Alan Ball, Saints finished runners-up in the Second Division (behind Bolton Wanderers) and returned to the First Division. They finished comfortably in 14th place in their first season back in the top flight. The following season they returned to Wembley in the final of the League Cup where they acquitted themselves well, losing 3–2 to Nottingham Forest.

In 1980, McMenemy made his biggest signing, capturing the European Footballer of the Year Kevin Keegan. Although Keegan's Southampton career only lasted two years, Saints fielded an attractive side also containing Alan Ball, prolific goal-scorer Ted MacDougall, (who still holds the record for the largest number of goals in an FA Cup game – nine – for Bournemouth against Margate in an 11–0 win), MacDougall's strike partner at Bournemouth and Norwich Phil Boyer, club stalwart Mick Channon and Charlie George and in 1980–81 they scored 76 goals, finishing in sixth place, then their highest league finish. The following season, Kevin Keegan helped lift the club to the top of the First Division. Southampton led the league for over two months, taking top spot on 30 January 1982 and staying there (apart from one week) until 3 April 1982. But in a disappointing end to the season, in which Keegan was hampered by a back injury, Southampton won only two of their last nine games and finished seventh. The winners of a wide-open title race were Keegan's old club Liverpool, who were crowned champions on the final day of the season. Keegan scored 26 of Southampton's 72 goals that season, but was then sold to Newcastle United.

Southampton continued to progress under McMenemy's stewardship, and with a team containing Peter Shilton (the England national football team goalkeeper), Nick Holmes, David Armstrong, striker Steve Moran and quick winger Danny Wallace reached their highest ever league finish as runners-up in 1983–84[4] (three points behind the champions Liverpool) as well as reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup losing 1–0 to Everton at Highbury Stadium. McMenemy then added experienced midfielder Jimmy Case to his ranks.

They finished fifth the following year, but as a result of the Heysel Disaster all English clubs were banned from European competition: had it not been for this, then Southampton would have again qualified for the UEFA Cup.

McMenemy left at the end of the 1984–85 season to be succeeded by Chris Nicholl, who was sacked after six years in charge despite preserving the club's top flight status. He was replaced by Ian Branfoot, who until the end of the 1990–91 season had been assistant manager to Steve Coppell at Crystal Palace. By this stage a key player in the Southampton line-up was Guernsey-born attacking midfielder/striker Matthew Le Tissier, who broke into the first team in the 1986–87 season. He was voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 1990 and later made eight appearances for the England team – he finally retired in 2002 at the age of 33. Another exciting young player to break into the Southampton team just after Le Tissier was Alan Shearer, who at the age of 17 scored a hat-trick against Arsenal in a league match in April 1988. Shearer was a first team regular by 1990, and stayed with Southampton until July 1992, when he was sold to Blackburn Rovers for a national record of more than £3million. He then became the most expensive footballer in the world when Blackburn sold him to Newcastle United for £15million in 1996. He also scored 30 times for the England team.

Southampton in the Premier League

Southampton were founding members of the Premier League in 1992–93, but spent most of the next 10 seasons struggling against relegation. In 1995–96. Southampton finished 17th with 38 league points, avoiding relegation on goal difference. Two important wins during the final weeks of the season did much to ensure that Saints and not Manchester City would achieve Premiership survival. First came a 3–1 home win over eventual double winners Manchester United, then came a 1–0 away win over relegated Bolton Wanderers. Former Liverpool and Rangers manager Graeme Souness, was brought in, signing foreign players such as Egil Østenstad and Eyal Berkovic. The highlight of the season was a 6–3 win over Manchester United at The Dell in October, when both his signings scored twice. However, he had to deal with criticism over the Ali Dia debacle. He resigned after just one season in charge, being replaced by Dave Jones who had won promotion to Division One with Stockport County as well as reaching the League Cup semi-finals. In 1998–99 as they were rooted to the bottom of the table for much of the first half of the season, but again avoided relegation on the last day of the season after a late run of good results, helped by the intervention of Latvian Marian Pahars and old hero Le Tissier (The so-called "Great Escape"). In 1999, Southampton were given the go-ahead to build a new 32,000-seat stadium in the St Mary's area of the city, after playing in the Dell since 1898. The stadium had been converted to an all-seater format earlier in the decade, but had a capacity of less than 16,000 and was unsuitable for further expansion.

During the 1999–00 season, Dave Jones quit as Southampton manager to concentrate on a court case after he was accused of abusing children at the children's home where he had worked during the 1980s. The accusations were later proved to be groundless but it was too late to save Jones's career as Southampton manager and he was succeeded by ex-England team manager Glenn Hoddle. He helped keep Southampton well clear of the Premier League drop zone but having received an offer he moved to Tottenham Hotspur just before the end of the 2000–01 season. He was replaced by first-team coach Stuart Gray, who oversaw the relocation to the St Mary's Stadium for the 2001–02 season. At the end of the 2000–01 season, in the last competitive match at The Dell, Matthew Le Tissier came on late to score the last ever league goal at the old stadium with a half volley on the turn in a 3–2 win against Arsenal. Gray was sacked after a poor start to the following season, and he was replaced by ex-Coventry City manager Gordon Strachan, who steered Southampton to safety and a secure 11th-place finish.

In 2002–03, Southampton finished eighth in the league and finished runners-up in the FA Cup to Arsenal (after losing 1–0 at the Millennium Stadium), thanks in no small part to the metamorphosis of James Beattie, who fired home 24 goals, 23 in the league. Strachan resigned in March 2004 and within eight months, two different managers – Paul Sturrock and Steve Wigley – had come and gone. Chairman Rupert Lowe risked the ire of Saints fans when he appointed Harry Redknapp as manager on 8 December 2004, just after his resignation at South Coast rivals Portsmouth.[6] He brought in a number of new signings, including his son Jamie in the attempt to survive relegation. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on the last day of the season, ending 27 successive seasons of top flight football for the club. Their relegation was ironically confirmed by a 2–1 home defeat to Manchester United, who had been on the receiving end of many upsets by Southampton over the years, namely in the 1976 FA Cup final and since then on a number of occasions in the league, as well as inflicting a heavy defeat on them in a November 1986 League Cup tie which cost United manager Ron Atkinson his job.[5]

Lowe and Southampton continued to make headlines after former England Rugby World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward joined the club—eventually being appointed Technical Director in June 2005.[7]

Outside the top flight

On 24 November 2005, Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin, the man who himself replaced Harry Redknapp at Southampton's arch-rivals, was sacked by chairman Milan Mandarić. Redknapp walked out on Southampton on 3 December 2005 and rejoined Portsmouth on 7 December 2005. After three matches under caretaker manager Dave Bassett and assistant Dennis Wise, George Burley was unveiled as the club's new head coach on 23 December to work alongside Clive Woodward, who was promoted from Performance Director to Director of Football.

In the wake of calls for him to step down, Lowe eventually resigned on 30 June 2006, a few days before an Extraordinary general meeting that was predicted to see him removed from the club's board. He was replaced as Chairman by Jersey-based businessman Michael Wilde who had become the club's major shareholder.

During the 2006–07 season, the board set about trying to secure new investment in the club. However, on 26 February 2007, it was announced that Michael Wilde would step down as chairman of the football club on 28 February. On 2 March, it was announced that Leon Crouch would take the role of "acting Chairman" until the end of that season, when the Board would reassess the situation. Crouch was reportedly fired on 21 July 2007.

On 22 October 2007, it was announced the club's p.l.c. board had received a takeover bid from an unknown investor which would purchase 55% of the shares in the company. Two days later, a London-based hedge fund, SISU Capital, was named as the potential new owner.[8] The self-described "special situations investment fund management company"[9] has previously attempted to gain control of Derby County and Manchester City; former footballer Ray Ranson was involved with both bids, and SISU intended to nominate him for a place on the Southampton board.[10] However, on 14 December it was confirmed that SISU had completed a takeover of Coventry City, effectively ending their interest in Southampton.

The day before a proposed EGM to reinstate Lowe along with Wilde was to take place, the remaining board room members bar David Jones resigned, allowing Lowe and Wilde to return; Wilde as Chairman of Southampton Football Club and Rupert Lowe as Chairman of Southampton Leisure Holdings p.l.c.

At one point during the 2005–06 season, Southampton were in real danger of a second successive relegation. But their form improved during the final weeks of the season and they finished a secure twelfth.

Southampton players form a huddle before kicking off against Derby in 2007

The good form which secured Southampton's Championship status in 2005–06 was carried through to the start of the 2006–07 season, and the turn of the year saw the team in fourth place in the table. The new board of directors had spent a club record £6 million on transfers. Polish strikers Grzegorz Rasiak and Marek Saganowski and 17-year-old left back Gareth Bale all had great runs in form. Southampton finished in sixth place, the last play-off position. They lost the home leg of their playoff semi-final to Derby County, and on 15 May achieved parity on aggregate but lost on penalties in a thrilling encounter.

In the 2007–08 season, George Burley revealed that players such as Gareth Bale and Kenwyne Jones had to be sold to stop the club going into administration and that not achieving promotion put the club in serious financial difficulty. Burley left the club in January 2008 to take over as Scotland manager. Initially Jason Dodd and John Gorman took charge of Southampton. But in February, Southampton appointed Nigel Pearson as manager. Under Pearson's management Southampton narrowly avoided the drop by beating Sheffield United 3–2 on the final day of the season.

Although Pearson kept the Saints up, the Southampton board did not renew his contract, because of financial constraints. By now, Michael Wilde and Rupert Lowe had replaced Leon Crouch as chairmen, and the new board brought in the relatively unknown Dutchman Jan Poortvliet as manager. The Club's financial troubles continued to mount, resulting in more players being sold or loaned out to lower the wage bill and parts of St Mary's were closed off to reduce costs.

On 23 January 2009, Poortvliet resigned with the club one from bottom in the Championship, with Mark Wotte taking over managerial duties.[11][12][13]

On 23 April 2009, Southampton were handed a 10-point deduction, following their parent company going into administration. This deduction ensured that Southampton were relegated from the Football League Championship and played the 2009–10 season in League One.[14] After failure to beat Burnley in the penultimate game of the season on 25 April 2009, which ended in a 2–2 draw, Southampton confirmed their relegation from the Championship to League One. This also meant that they started in the third tier of English football for the first time in 50 years with minus 10 points, within six years of being FA Cup runners-up, UEFA Cup participants and the eighth placed team in the Premier League.[15]

By the end of May 2009, the club was unable to meet its staff wages commitments, and asked employees to work unpaid as a gesture of goodwill. Despite his statement opposing the sanctions a month earlier, administrator Mark Fry warned that the club now faced imminent bankruptcy unless a buyer was found.[16] The following day, the Matt Le Tissier-backed Pinnacle consortium paid a non-refundable fee of £500,000 to gain "exclusivity" for 21 days, which meant that the employees at the club could be paid.[17] That period of exclusivity lapsed on 19 June without a deal being completed as the Football League refused to give the necessary approval of the proposed take-over unless Pinnacle waived any right to appeal against the ten-point deduction. The decision was confirmed by a meeting of the Football League Board on 21 June[18]

On 26 June 2009, administrator Mark Fry made a statement in which he said he had negotiations with two other groups of investors. He also confirmed that no group had an exclusivity deal and potential buyers will have to move straight away to purchase the club.[19] This was followed by a statement from the Pinnacle group that they would accept the ten point penalty enforced by the Football League in order that the takeover of the club may be completed.

On 30 June 2009, it was reported that the Le Tissier-backed Pinnacle Consortium had withdrawn their offer for the club. They "up-turned tables" after a mystery overseas consortium announced that they were close to a deal after lawyers were in negotiations for the club.

On 8 July 2009, the administrators confirmed that the club had been sold to a buyer "owned and controlled by Markus Liebherr".[20] On 9 July 2009, Mark Wotte was sacked as Head Coach. On 17 July 2009, the club confirmed the appointment of Alan Pardew as the new First Team Manager.[21] The Saints made their first big signing under Liebherr, striker Rickie Lambert who was purchased on 10 August 2009 from fellow League One side Bristol Rovers.[22] Liebherr also brought in Italian businessman Nicola Cortese to look after the club's business interests on his behalf.

On 28 March 2010, Southampton won their first trophy since 1976 when they defeated Carlisle United 4–1 at Wembley, to claim the Football League Trophy.[23] Southampton finished the season in 7th place, 7 points from the last play-off position.

In celebration of the club's 125th anniversary a new home shirt was unveiled on 10 June 2010. The design was based on the original St. Mary's Y.M.A. kit used in 1885 and featured the new anniversary crest as well being without a sponsor's logo.[24] The away kit was released a short time later. This kit had a black shirt, black shorts (both with red trim) and red socks (with black trim). As with the home kit the away kit contained no main shirt sponsor and new crest.

It was announced on 11 August 2010 that Markus Liebherr had died; however the club's future had been assured and planned for before Liebherr's death.[25] [26] On 30 August 2010, Alan Pardew was sacked as first team manager. Dean Wilkins was installed as caretaker manager for a three-game period while the club started its search for a new manager. On 12 September, Nigel Adkins was announced as the new Southampton manager, joining from Scunthorpe United.[27] Southampton achieved promotion to the Championship on 7 May 2011 with a 3–1 victory over Walsall.

On return to the Championship, Southampton made a strong start to the season, winning their first four league games for the first time in their history (this also established a club record of 10 consecutive league victories following a successful spell at the end of the previous League One season). Southampton soon secured their best start to a season for 75 years when they beat Nottingham Forest 3–2 at home, then beat Birmingham City 4–1 at home to go top of the league and extend their winning run at St Mary's to 13 league games, setting a new club record.

On 13 April, Southampton lost 3–1 at home to fellow-challengers for promotion Reading in a match which effectively decided the Championship title. This was the Saints' first home defeat in the league since mid-January. The team however confirmed promotion to the Premier League with a 4–0 defeat of relegated Coventry, with goals from Adam Lallana, Billy Sharp, Jos Hooiveld, and José Fonte. The game set a record attendance at St Mary's Stadium, of 32,363 fans. Rickie Lambert finished the season as the Championship's top goalscorer with 27 league goals, his third 'Golden Boot' in four seasons. He also won the Championship Player of the Year award.

Return to the Premier League

On 10 June 2012, Southampton completed the £7 million signing of Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez, breaking the club's record transfer fee spent on a single player, previously £4 million for Rory Delap, who transferred from Derby County in 2001. This record was then broken by the £12 million signing of Uruguayan forward Gastón Ramírez from Bologna on transfer deadline day, one of a clutch of eight new signings for the team before the window closed. Early in the season, Adkins was sacked and replaced by Argentinian coach Mauricio Pochettino.[28][29] After his arrival, Southampton recorded some impressive results, with home wins against Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, although they suffered one of their biggest defeats after losing 6–1 away to Arsenal. Southampton finished the season in 14th place, four places above the relegation zone, with 41 points.

On 11 July 2013, in preparation for next season, the club's transfer fee record was again broken with the purchase of Victor Wanyama from Celtic for a reported fee of £12.5 million.[30] A month later, on 18 August 2013, the club's transfer fee record was broken a fourth time in two years with the purchase of Daniel Osvaldo from Roma for a reported fee of £15 million.[31] The Saints also signed Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren from Lyon for a fee reported to be in the region of £8.5 million. Southampton ended their season in eighth place, with 56 points.

Koeman (front left) as manager

Pochettino departed the club in the close season for Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur. The club subsequently appointed Ronald Koeman as his replacement on 16 June 2014, signing a three-year deal. The former Feyenoord boss was joined by his brother Erwin as assistant manager.

At the end of the 2013–14 season, Southampton made a number of high-profile sales – including Rickie Lambert, captain Adam Lallana, and Lovren to Liverpool for estimated fees of £4 million, £25 million, and £20 million respectively,[32][33][34] left-back Luke Shaw to Manchester United for a club record fee in the region of £27 million,[35] and right-back Calum Chambers joined Arsenal for approximately £16 million.[36]

On 8 July 2014, the Saints made their first signing of the season in Serbian midfielder Dušan Tadić, who joined for a reported £10.9 million from Dutch side Twente.[37] Tadić was followed by Italian striker Graziano Pellè, who signed from Feyenoord on 12 July.[38] At the end of July, Southampton signed Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand on a season-long loan (with an option to buy for £10 million at the end of the season). In August, Southampton signed Fraser Forster for £10 million from Celtic. Southampton added Romania international defender Florin Gardoș (£6 million) as well as Irish striker Shane Long from Hull City for £12 million. Southampton also signed Senegalese winger Sadio Mané from Red Bull Salzburg for £10 million and Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld on a season-long loan from Atlético Madrid.[39]

The club earned several new accolades in the 2014–15 season, with a record 8–0 victory over Sunderland in October 2014, and their first league victory since 1988 at Old Trafford against Manchester United in January 2015, after Dušan Tadić scored the only goal of the game. In their final home game of the season, a 6–1 victory against Aston Villa, Sadio Mané scored three goals in the space of 176 seconds, making it the fastest hat trick in the history of the Premier League.[40] The club finished seventh, their highest ever Premier League rank, with 60 points.[41][42][42] The club qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League following Aston Villa's 4–0 defeat to Arsenal in the 2015 FA Cup Final, as Arsenal had already secured a place in the UEFA Champions League.[43] Despite securing 3–0 and 2–0 victories home and away respectively against Vitesse in the Europa League, the club failed to make it past the playoff stage after a 1–1 draw and 1–0 loss home and away respectively to Midtjylland, which resulted in 2–1 goal aggregate and consequential elimination.[44]

Over the next transfer window, Southampton sold Nathaniel Clyne to Liverpool for an estimated £12.5 million,[45] and Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United for an estimated £27 million.[46] Both Manchester United and Chelsea offered £30 million bids for Sadio Mané, but Koeman insisted that he was not for sale,[47] and Mane himself expressed desire to stay with Southampton.[48] The club signed Dutch centre back Virgil van Dijk for an estimated £13 million, as well as right back Cuco Martina and Spanish defender Oriol Romeu. Steven Caulker and Maarten Stekelenburg were signed on loan from QPR and Fulham, respectively. On 2 December 2015, the club endured their biggest defeat in three years after losing 6–1 to Liverpool at home in the quarter finals of the Football League Cup.[49]


First-team squad

As of 26 November 2015.[50]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Kelvin Davis (club captain)
2 Portugal DF Cédric Soares
3 Japan DF Maya Yoshida
4 Netherlands MF Jordy Clasie
5 Romania DF Florin Gardoș
6 Portugal DF José Fonte (team captain)
7 Republic of Ireland FW Shane Long
8 Northern Ireland MF Steven Davis
9 England FW Jay Rodriguez
10 Senegal MF Sadio Mané
11 Serbia MF Dušan Tadić
12 Kenya MF Victor Wanyama
14 Spain MF Oriol Romeu
15 Curaçao DF Cuco Martina
16 England MF James Ward-Prowse
No. Position Player
17 Netherlands DF Virgil van Dijk
18 England MF Harrison Reed
19 Italy FW Graziano Pellè
20 Spain FW Juanmi
21 England DF Ryan Bertrand
22 Netherlands GK Maarten Stekelenburg (on loan from Fulham)
23 Uruguay MF Gastón Ramírez
24 England DF Jack Stephens
25 Argentina GK Paulo Gazzaniga
33 England DF Matt Targett
38 England MF Sam McQueen
40 England FW Sam Gallagher
44 England GK Fraser Forster
45 England FW Ryan Seager

Under-21 squad

Under 21 players outside the first team squad. Squad numbers allocated for UEFA Europa League campaign.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
29 England DF Bevis Mugabi
30 England DF Will Wood
31 England MF Armani Little
34 England MF Jake Flannigan
35 Nigeria DF Josh Debayo
37 Scotland MF Harley Willard
No. Position Player
39 England MF Josh Sims
41 England GK Harry Isted
42 England MF Jake Hesketh
43 Gibraltar GK Will Britt
46 England MF Dominic Gape (captain)
47 England FW Marcus Barnes

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
27 Wales MF Lloyd Isgrove (on loan at Barnsley)
32 England DF Jason McCarthy (on loan at Wycombe Wanderers)
36 England DF Jordan Turnbull (on loan at Swindon Town)

Non-playing staff


  • Owner Katharina Liebherr[26]
  • Chairman Ralph Krueger[2]
  • Chief Executive Officer Gareth Rogers[52]
  • Football club directors Vacant
  • Parent company directors Gareth Rogers, Les Reed[52]
  • Technical Director Martin Hunter
  • Honorary President Terry Paine MBE
  • Head of Football Development and Support Centre Les Reed
  • First Team Manager Ronald Koeman[3]
  • First Team Assistant Manager Erwin Koeman[3]
  • First Team Coach Jan Kluitenberg[3]
  • First Team Assistant Coach Sammy Lee
  • Senior Goalkeeping Coach Dave Watson
  • First Team Performance Analyst Scott Waters
  • Player/Team Liaison Officer Hugo Scheckter
  • Development Goalkeeping Coaches Vince Bartram, Ryan Flood
  • Head of Recruitment Ross Wilson[53]
  • Senior Squad Scouts Bill Green
  • U21 Assistant Coach Radhi Jaïdi
  • Youth Recruitment Scout Rod Ruddick
  • Academy Recruitment Coordinator Chris Welman
  • Academy Liaison Officer Ian Herding
  • Under 18 Youth Coach Craig Fleming[54]
  • Under 16 Youth Coach Rob Edwards
  • Academy Manager Matt Hale
  • Assistant Academy Manager Terry Moore
  • Sports Medicine & Science Manager Mo Gimpel
  • Head of Sports Science Alek Gross

Stadium and training facilities

View from the Chapel Stand

St Mary's Stadium has been home to the Saints since August 2001. It has a capacity of 32,689[55] and is one of only a handful of stadia in Europe to meet UEFA's Four Star criteria.[56]

The stadium has also been host to a number of internationals including England's qualifying game against FYR Macedonia in 2002 where the teams drew 2–2, with David Beckham and Steven Gerrard scoring for England.

The club's training facilities, known as Staplewood are located in Marchwood, on the edge of the New Forest. They have received significant investment over the last 10 years, notably during the time Sir Clive Woodward was employed by the club between 2005 and 2006, and are now considered to be among some of the best in the country. However, on 8 December 2009, it was confirmed that these facilities would be ripped down and replaced with a new "state of the art" two-storey building.[57]

In November 2014 the new training centre was officially unveiled at Staplewood. The overall investment was close to £40m.[citation needed] The main building was named after the clubs late owner, Markus Liebherr who saved the club in 2009.[58]

For the 2012–13 season, and for the foreseeable future, the club agreed a deal with Eastleigh F.C., currently of the Conference South, for the use of their stadium, The Silverlake Stadium, for The Saints' U21 team fixtures. This continues a partnership with Eastleigh that has lasted for the last decade.[59]

Fans create a tifo in the St Mary's Stadium

On 18 October 2011, a record attendance of 32,152 watched the 1–0 victory against West Ham United, beating the previous record set on 29 December 2003 when 32,151 watched the 1–0 Premier League defeat by Arsenal.[60] However, this was broken for the second time in the same season when 32,363 watched the 4–0 victory against Coventry on 28 April 2012.

Previous grounds

The club's previous home was The Dell, to which it moved in 1898 and at which it remained for 103 years. Prior to that, the club's home grounds were the Antelope Ground (from 1887 to 1896) and the County Cricket Ground (from 1896 to 1898).[61]


The Saints' anthem is the popular sport tune When the Saints Go Marching In, and since the club's official nickname is "the Saints", they are one of only a few teams who do not change the original lyric.


File:Saints logo 2010.PNG
The 125th Anniversary year crest

Originally, the club used the same crest as the one used by the city itself. However, during the 1970s a competition was run for fans to design a new one.

The winning design, designed by Rolland Parris, was used for around 20 years, before being modified slightly by Southampton design agency The Graphics Workshop in the 1990s for copyright reasons.

From top-to-bottom, the halo is a reference to the nickname "Saints", the ball to the nature of the club, the scarf to the fans and the team colours. The tree represents the nearby New Forest and Southampton Common, with the water representing Southampton's connections with the rivers, seas and oceans. Below that is a white rose – the symbol of the city which is also present on the city crest.[62] In the mid-1990s the ball was changed from a vintage style ball (such as those used in the 1960s) to the current ball with black and white panels, for copyright reasons.

On 13 May 2010, the official crest for the 125th year anniversary was released: "The black outline and halo feature will now appear in gold, whilst the all important years 1885 and 2010 are scripted either side of the shield, with the figure 125 replacing the ball". The badge was used on Southampton's shirts for the 2010–11 season.[63]

The Saints Academy

Southampton runs a highly successful youth academy, with a number of teams from ages nine to 18 years. Recent products of the club's youth system include England internationals Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wayne Bridge and Luke Shaw, Wales winger Gareth Bale and Northern Ireland defender Chris Baird.

South Coast derby

The South Coast Derby is the name given to matches between the Saints and their fierce nearby rivals, Portsmouth F.C., from the city of the same name just over 18 miles from Southampton. The matches are also referred to as the Hampshire Derby. Including Southern League games, there have been 70 games between the clubs, with Southampton winning 34 and Portsmouth 21.

Club honours

The club's trophy cabinet, located within the St. Mary's Stadium
Football League Division One / Premier League
Football League Division Two / Football League Championship
Football League Division Three / Football League One
Football League Third Division South
Southern League
FA Cup
League Cup
FA Community Shield
Football League Trophy
Zenith Data Systems Cup
Anglo-Italian League Cup
Hampshire Senior Cup
  • Winners 17 times (includes wins as St Mary's and Southampton St Mary's, and wins by 'A' and reserve teams)
Texaco Cup
Tennent Caledonian Cup
Trofeo Ciudad de Vigo
  • Winners: 1983

Most league goals

Mick Channon, who had two spells with the club, currently holds the record for the number of Football League and Premier League goals scored for The Saints. During his times with the club between 1966 and 1977, and 1979 and 1982, he netted 185 times in league competition. The next highest scorer is Matthew Le Tissier, an attacking midfielder who spent his entire career with the club between 1986 and 2002, scoring 161 goals in 442 league appearances. He was the first midfielder to reach 100 goals in the Premier League. Third highest is winger Terry Paine, who played at The Dell between 1956 and 1974. He scored 160 goals for the club.

The full list of the club's top ten all-time Football League and Premier League scorers are:

Bill Rawlings also scored 19 goals in the Southern League in 1919–20.


Eight companies have sponsored the club, thus appearing on the player's shirts, over the course of its history. The first company to do so was photocopier manufacturer Rank Xerox who sponsored the club for three years from 1980. Air Florida briefly sponsored Southampton in 1983 before Draper Tools, who have a large factory in nearby Eastleigh sponsored the club for nine years between 1984 and 1993. Millbrook based company Dimplex, who produce electrical goods such as heaters were the next brand name to appear on the club's shirts and merchandise. They began sponsoring in 1993 before the deal ended in 1995. The Sanderson Group PLC took up the mantle, for four years from 1995, also sponsoring Sheffield Wednesday at the same time.

Investment company Friends Provident were the final sponsors of the club's time at The Dell. Their deal began in 1999 and was renewed shortly before the naming of St. Mary's Stadium, to which they also bought the naming rights. However they chose not to renew either deal in 2006, after which budget airline stepped in. Shortly followed by aap3, a business that specializes in IT engineering.

On 9 May 2014, Southampton announced a two-year deal with local based global consumer electronics firm Veho to become the main club sponsor from 1 July 2014.[64]

Former Saints players


Club records


Longest winning run

  • 10 matches, 16 April 2011 – 20 August 2011 (League)
  • 11 matches, 16 April 2011 – 20 August 2011 (All competitions)

Longest unbeaten run

  • 19 matches, 5 September 1921 – 31 December 1921

Longest home winning streak

  • 19 matches, 12 February 2011 – 29 November 2011 (League)
  • 21 matches, 12 February 2011 – 29 November 2011 (All competitions)

Biggest wins

Biggest losses

Highest scoring Football League game

Most appearances Terry Paine – 815  : 1956–1974

Most goals Mick Channon – 228  : 1966–1977, 1979–1982

Most goals in one season Derek Reeves – 44  : 1959–60

Most goals in one match Albert Brown – 7  : against Northampton Town, 28 December 1901

Youngest player Theo Walcott– 16 years 143 days. Against Wolverhampton Wanderers, 6 August 2005

Most capped player while at Southampton Peter Shilton – 50 caps for England (125 in total)

Record transfers

Record home attendance 32,363 against Coventry City, 28 April 2012


Highest transfer fees paid

Name From Fee Date
1 Italy Pablo Osvaldo Italy Roma £12.8M 2013
2 Kenya Victor Wanyama Scotland Celtic £12.5M 2013
3 Republic of Ireland Shane Long England Hull City £12M 2014
4 Uruguay Gastón Ramírez Italy Bologna £12M 2012
5 Netherlands Virgil van Dijk Scotland Celtic £11.5M 2015
6 Serbia Dušan Tadić Netherlands FC Twente £10.9M 2014
7 England Ryan Bertrand England Chelsea £10M 2015
8 Senegal Sadio Mané Austria Red Bull Salzburg £10M 2014
9 England Fraser Forster Scotland Celtic £10M 2014
10 Italy Graziano Pellè Netherlands Feyenoord £9M 2014

Highest transfer fees received

Name From Fee Date
1 England Luke Shaw England Manchester United £27M 2014
2 France Morgan Schneiderlin England Manchester United £25M 2015
3 England Adam Lallana England Liverpool £25M 2014
4 Croatia Dejan Lovren England Liverpool £20M 2014
5 England Calum Chambers England Arsenal £16M 2014
6 England Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain England Arsenal £15M 2011
7 England Nathaniel Clyne England Liverpool £12.5M 2015
8 England Theo Walcott England Arsenal £12.5M 2006
9 Wales Gareth Bale England Tottenham Hotspur £10M 2007
10 England Wayne Bridge England Chelsea £7M 2003

Most international caps

Players who have represented their country whilst contracted to Southampton

As of 17 November 2015[69]
# Name Nation International
Caps Goals
1. Peter Shilton  England 1982–1987 50 0
2. Mick Channon  England 1972–1977 45 21
3. Maya Yoshida  Japan 2012– 44 4
4. Anders Svensson  Sweden 2001–2005 42 7
5. Chris Nicholl  Northern Ireland 1977–1983 37 2
6. Paul Jones  Wales 1997–2003 36 0
Claus Lundekvam  Norway 1998–2005 36 2
8. Marian Pahars  Latvia 1999–2004 33 8
9. Steven Davis  Northern Ireland 2012– 27 4
10. Ron Davies  Wales 1966–1972 26 7

World Cup players

The following players have been selected by their country in the World Cup, while playing for Southampton.


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External links