Les Reed’s Departure Signals Time for Change has Truly Arrived at Southampton

Les Reed
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 16: Vice Chairman(Football) Les Reed during a Southampton FC Fans Forum at St Marys stadium, on August 16, 2018 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

It is truly a new day for the Southampton Football Club. Following a spell that lasted more than eight years, the Saints have officially announced the departure of Vice-chairman Les Reed.

Southampton Announces Departure of Les Reed

Having joined the Saints back office in 2010 when the club were playing in League One, Reed’s time with Southampton was one to truly remember and respect. After all, Reed’s leadership did see Southampton achieve some great things. However, in recent seasons, Reed has become a target for many Saints supporters following a difficult spell for the club.

Overseeing the recent appointments of Claude Puel and Mauricio Pellegrini, Reed has failed to find a permanent solution to the management of the team. Of course, Reed has also received much blame for the near constant sale of Southampton’s top players over the last four to five years. Included in this list are Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk, Morgan Schneiderlin and Luke Shaw.

More recently, though, Reed has come under increasing fire for the performance of current manager Mark Hughes. With Hughes reportedly facing the sack should Southampton lose to Watford on Saturday, Reed will have overseen three sacked manager selections in a row to end his tenure with the club.

Saints Early Success Under Reed

However, while Reed’s most recent time with the club saw Southampton struggle in multiple areas, one cannot discredit the success that he brought to the club. Joining Saints in 2010, Reed oversaw Southampton’s impressive climb from League One back to the Premier League.

Of course, this includes back-to-back promotions in 2011 and 2012 as well as Southampton’s qualification for the Europa League back in both 2015 and 2016. Reed also oversaw the use of the mythical black box system that led Saints to sign many of their former top players.

Included in this list would, of course, be the signings of both Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk. However, Reed’s early success wasn’t just in discovering players. Reed also oversaw the appointments of both Mauricio Pochettino as well as Ronald Koeman, two extremely successful managers for Southampton.

Struggles Headline Final Days with Club

However, all good things can’t last forever. Reed’s most recent time on the South Coast has been a struggle. Headlined by multiple failed player signings in recent seasons, Reed also struggled to find a permanent replacement for former manager Ronald Koeman. Adding to this is Saints continued relegation battle over the last two campaigns, a result that was likely the final straw in the Southampton boardroom.

Moving on following almost three-years of continuous struggle and fan backlash, Les Reed leaves the club a damaged hero. That said, his departure proves that change is likely afoot on the South Coast. The next moves the club takes will be key in determining both the immediate and distant future of the club.

However, for the time being, we must salute both Les Reed for the success that he managed to bring to the club as well as the fact that the Southampton board finally recognizes the need for change. Will that change be good or bad? Only time will tell. For now, though, the departure of Les Reed from Southampton Football Club signals that the time for change has truly arrived.

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