Les Reed sacked by Southampton
Written by Simon Austin — November 8, 2018
LES REED, Southampton's most senior football figure, has been sacked after eight years at the club.
The 65-year-old Vice Chairman, who had a seat on the board, has paid the price for a poor couple of seasons at St Mary's. Southampton are 16th in the Premier League and narrowly avoided relegation last season.
“I would like to go on record to thank Les for the eight years of hard work and dedication he has given Southampton Football Club,” Chairman Ralph Krueger said.
“His time at the club will be remembered for the fine work he did in overseeing our progress through the divisions and establishing the club in the Premier League.
“The process of recruiting the right individual to head up our football operations is under way, and is a decision that needs to be given the necessary time and attention that reflects what an important position it is within our club.
"Now, more than ever, we are grateful for the continued support of our staff and fans as we work towards our joint aim of moving up the table.”
When Reed, 65, joined the club, in April 2010, they were languishing in League One - their lowest standing in 50 years. Under the ownership of the Liebherr family, Reed oversaw a climb up the divisions, as well as the development of the club's Academy, sports science and medical departments.
On his watch, the club produced England internationals Callum Chambers, Luke Shaw, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana.
James Bunce, who joined the club as an intern in 2007 and is now Director of High Performance for US Soccer, told TGG about the impact Reed had had last year.
"Les asked us what we needed to become the best sports science department possible and then helped us to deliver those recommendations,” he said.
“Les was a massive influence in developing the club - and me personally - and he was always a huge advocate of the Academy. The great thing was that our voice was heard.
“They wanted staff who were young, hungry and ambitious. We developed 'Science Behind the Saints' – the fundamentals of development that would remain even if the staff at the club changed.
“Each player has a ceiling and our job was to help them reach it. Data, testing, physiology, the connection between coaches and science, were all crucial to that.”
Reed had been absent from the club recently following a hip operation. Ross Wilson remains Director of Football Operations.
- Update: Martin Hunter was sacked as Technical Director a few hours later.