New owner Dragan Solak, a Serbian-born cable television tycoon, has invested a large chunk of his fortune into the club, marking a new chapter in their history.
What is the latest news involving Southampton?
Solak’s acquisition brings an end to the majority ownership of Chinese businessman Gao Jisheng, who bought an 80 per cent stake in the Saints back in 2017, although Katharina Liebherr retains her 20 per cent minority shareholding.
The deal sees London-based investment company in the sports and entertainment industry, Sport Republic, acquire a controlling stake, and it’s a move that has been welcomed by manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
“In the past, it was very often that we had to sell players before we could sign new players. This will change now massively,” said the Austrian tactician, highlighting the club’s new spending power.
Recent years have seen Southampton be forced to shop at the lower end of the market due to their relatively modest budget, with Hasenhuttl attempting to pick up younger talents who he can develop into big stars.
The likes of Tino Livramento, Kyle Walker-Peters and Mohammed Salisu have all arrived for modest fees before impressing at St. Mary’s but Southampton could be able to compete for more established figures in the future.
What has Crook said about Southampton?
As per Transfermarkt, Hasenhuttl’s charges have only ever spent over £20 million on three signings, with two of those coming during the 54-year-old’s reign.
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Now though, Crook believes Southampton will have a bigger budget under the new regime, allowing them to sign more expensive players.
He told GiveMeSport: “Yes, that’s right (Southampton can afford bigger transfer fees now). The way it was put to me was, rather than buying players for £8 million, they might be able to buy players for £12m or £15m.”
Who could Southampton buy?
The first acquisition of the Solak era could be Chelsea striker Armando Broja. The 20-year-old arrived on a season-long loan in the summer and has already made a big impression.
In 21 appearances, the Albania international has bagged seven goals and provided a single assist, doing enough to convince Hasenhuttl over his long-term suitability.
Transfer expert and well-known journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed Southampton are set to launch a club-record £25m for the youngster, and the club’s supporters will surely be hoping Broja is the first of many to sign on the dotted line.