Why Pardew went
I think I have mentioned this before but I have an old mate close to goings on at Southampton, close both financially and emotionally so after various snippets of information over the summer it was no surprise to me when I heard on the radio of Pardew’s sacking early this morning.
Everyone’s outright favourites, the Saints have had a sketchy, if hardly disastrous start to their Div 3 campaign but the timing of the dismissal of Pardew (his 3rd in 4 years) after their 4-0 stuffing of Bristol Rovers the weekend is odd to say the least.
There isn’t much doubt that Pards’ ego is as big as Hampshire but whilst his mind games and convincing turn of phrase got him his own way at The Valley Pardew came up against a fierce adversery in Saints’ CEO Nicola Cortese.
Cortese came to St Mary’s after new owner Markus Liebherr appointed Pardew as manager last summer and the two did not hit it off. Pardew liked the fact that Liebherr was going to be an absent benefactor but he didn’t account for the fiercely ambitious and fiery Italian.
When Liebherr tragically died a couple of weeks ago, things changed for the worse for Pardew, who as one has come to expect had surrounded himself with a myriad of support staff (a couple of whom were fired last week). Since Liebherr’s death Pards’ has been on countdown and once the mourning was over the CEO’s focus was on the manager, who insider’s felt would get the boot at the end of last season.
I was told that Markus Liebherr was the restraining hand on the aggressive young Italian CEO who didn’t bond with Pardew and disliked his self conceit.
Saints’ fans appeared shocked and disappointed on Sky Sports News today. As we know Pardew was easy to love, easy to follow. We hung onto his rhetoric until we became mistrusting. Reading and Hammers’ fans likewise.
Southampton sold their full 2,500 allocation out at Bristol Rovers on Saturday, my mate was one of them. This despite a poor start but the fans showed up because the general feeling amongst them was they looked good but had been unlucky and there was still plenty of confidence that under Pardew promotion was to be a certainty.
Before Saturday Cortese’s mind was made up and Pardew was history. He walks away with his reputation further tarnished but with another big cheque burning a hole in his pocket and ironically most Addicks probably feel today’s news has only enhanced one of our rival’s promotion chances.