Five Golden Rules
1) Keep Nigel Pearson
Crucial for two reasons. Firstly, and most obviously, of course Pearson deserves to be kept on. When he joined, the club was in freefall under Dodd and Gorman, and despite some bad results Pearson was able to restore confidence, boost fitness and secure a survival that would otherwise have been very much in the balance. His commitment is obvious and he has won the right to lead Saints into the new season. Secondly, he has the fans behind him. A recent poll on the Saints Forum website found that the manager has the support of the vast majority of fans. If Lowe and Wilde are to have any chance of success they must keep the fans onside. Getting rid of Pearson may just push things over the edge.
2) Sort out the club's finances
While talk of imminent administration may be an exagerration, the long term future of the club depends upon getting the club onto a sure financial footing. Despite Lowe's profligacy with managers, he proved himself financially last time by running a very tight ship. More is needed now, trimming the wage bill and raising attentences will be crucial to this.
3) Communicate with the fans
The official Saints website has never been the ultimate source of Saints knowledge, but the last few days has seen the site shamefully overlook the dramatic events at the club. Fans, desperate to know who was coming and going at board level, have instead been fed news about last night's "Legends" match. While I recognise the appeal and importance of last night's charity match, telling fans what is going on at Southampton Football Club is surely the purpose of the site and in that it has singularly failed during Crouch's reign. Fans who look online for Saints news must go to http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/ instead. An injection of honesty into the club's communication is thus urgently required. Afterall, who can forget Lowe deriding the D.E as "recidivist much-spreaders." Well Mr Lowe, unless you sort out the Saints site it is to the muck-speaders to whom people will turn for their Saints news.
4) Rebuild the club's academy
Linked to point 2, and important in the long term as another revenue stream. The academy has lost key staff, as well as much of its reputation over the past few years. Growing quality homegrown players is important both in providing talent to the team and in generating revenue.
5) Attract Investment
The investment saga has rolled on for long enough, but its importance cannot be overstated. If we want to get back in the Premiership we need new finance to get us there. Rupert's penny-pinching will only get us so far.
Over to you, Mr Lowe...
I think all fans would unite in saying thank you to Leon Crouch. His heart was obviously in the job, and his appointment of Pearson was crucial to our survival (after the mistake of carrying on with Dodd and Gorman). Without his support, we would not have such a fitting tribute to Ted Bates, either. However, in hard times, hard measures are called for and it is now up to Lowe and Wilde to sort out the club's finances. And if they are to keep fans onside they must keep Nigel Pearson. They now have another chance now to prove themselves. Lets hope they do not let history and bickering get in the way getting the club back onto the path to success.