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Krueger signs off with treasured memories of Southampton ‘journey’

Southampton will set out their vision for the future leadership of the club at the end of the season following the departure of chairman Ralph Krueger.

The Canadian-born German former professional ice hockey coach was set to be out of contract at the end of June.

The news of the 59-year-old’s departure was confirmed on Friday morning, and Press Association Sport understands Krueger has left his position with immediate effect.

Southampton parted company with Les Reed (right) during November (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Southampton parted company with Les Reed, right, during November. (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Krueger is the latest high-profile figure to leave the Saints over the past few months.

During November, with the club battling to get out of the relegation zone, Southampton sacked vice-chairman Les Reed and technical director Martin Hunter before manager Mark Hughes was eventually replaced by Ralph Hasenhuttl at the start of December.

The Austrian has been able to oversee an upturn in fortunes recently, with three wins from the past five matches giving the Saints some breathing space ahead of 18th-placed Cardiff.

In Friday’s statement, Southampton praised Krueger’s “leadership, dedication and hard work over his six years”.

The club also added “more information about the future leadership structure” of the club would be released once their position for next season was known.

The statement continued: “For now, all our efforts and focus are on a strong finish to the season and remaining within the Premier League.”

Krueger joined Southampton in 2014 and helped stabilise the club in the Premier League.

“Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. It is the journey in-between that I will treasure. Thank you Southampton Football Club for the journey,” Krueger said.

Majority shareholder Gao Jisheng praised Krueger’s work. He said: “Ralph represented our club with honour and integrity, and followed ‘The Southampton Way’ with great passion.

“We thank him for the foundations he has helped to build and wish him well for the future.”

Fellow shareholder Katharina Liebherr added: “Ralph laid the foundations for the Saints to be a sustainable team that put pressure on the top sides in the Premier League.

“I, along with my family, will always be grateful for all that Ralph has done for the club.”

Hasenhuttl’s side are back in action on Saturday at home against Wolves.

Forward Danny Ings will be available again after being ineligible to face parent club Liverpool last weekend.

Hasenhuttl believes the current feel-good factor around the club can continue as they aim to extend the five-point cushion over Cardiff.

Southampton forward Danny Ings (PA)

Danny Ings will come back into contention for the visit of Wolves. (Adam Davy/PA)

“We have a team which is really open-minded and working very hard, I really enjoy being here every day,” the Southampton manager said at a press conference reported by the club.

“The games in our stadiums, in front of our supporters, it is an unbelievable atmosphere at the moment. Everybody is in our boat and rowing with us.

“That is exactly what I want to have in this club, bringing everyone together and being able to create the energy we need to stay in the league.”