Tuesday, 19 August 2008

More bad news as player sales continue

After the events of the weekend and his previous murmurings of discontent at the direction the club was taking, few will be surprised at today's news that Andrew Davies has signed for Stoke. His sterling performances last season, combined with the club's financial woes, perhaps made his departure inevitable, with Jan Poortvliet's open lack of knowledge about the player pointing to orders from the top that he would be sold. Reports in Monday's newspapers that he was spotted in the stands for Stoke's Premiership opener seemed to confirm the news.

The typically plain statement on the Saints website announcing the news gives no indication of the reasoning behind the sale, though it is to be hoped a boardroom explanation is to follow. This will perhaps come after the sale of Andrew Surman, apparently impending if reports in today's newspapers are to be believed. These are worrying times, sales of the gems at the heart of the Southampton squad. It is a mark of the financial woe in which the club finds itself and a worrying loss on the footballing side. Most fans will understand the financial pressures that have forced these sales, but they will still cast minds back to the previous reign of Rupert Lowe, when Saints was most definitely a selling club, even when securing eight placed Premiership finishes.

More ominous news comes in the form of Gregorz Rasiak's season long loan to Watford. Saints may gain from not having to pay his wages, but Rasiak is a proven goalscorer at this level and his presence in the same league as Saints could come back to haunt them. With bad news flowing and the pressure mounting, a first league win cannot come soon enough for Jan Poortlviet's side.

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