Southampton confirm boardroom changes

Southampton have confirmed majority shareholder Gao Jisheng as chairman in a restructuring of the board.

Former chairman Ralph Krueger left the club towards the end of last season with his contract set to expire, and in May was announced as the new head coach of NHL franchise the Buffalo Sabres.

With Gao based in China, Martin Semmens moves into a new role as chief executive and will “lead the club on a day-to-day basis”.

Shareholder Katharina Liebherr, meanwhile, is set to rejoin the board of the St Mary’s Football Group, which is the Premier League club’s parent company.

“Following our statement at the end of last season, Southampton Football Club can confirm its board structure for the 2019-20 season and beyond,” a statement on the Southampton website read.

“Majority shareholder Mr Jisheng Gao will now take the position of chairman of the club and St Mary’s Football Group.

“Katharina Liebherr rejoins the St Mary’s Football Group board whilst Nelly Gao and Martin Semmens will also become members of the St Mary’s Football Group board and vice-chairs of the club board.

“Martin Semmens has also been appointed as CEO of Southampton Football Club, and will lead the club on a day-to-day basis.

“The management team and operations remain unchanged and the club is looking forward with new focus and determination to a successful season.”

After guiding the Saints to Premier League safety, boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has already added to his squad with the arrival of Mali winger Moussa Djenepo from Standard Liege.