Saints: No takeover approach

Southampton have confirmed they have not received a takeover approach from businessman Andrew Strode-Gibbons.

Saints chairman Rupert Lowe has vowed he will not bow to fan pressure and be forced out of the club amid interest from a consortium headed by Strode-Gibbons.

And a statement to the Stock Exchange released by Southampton Leisure Holdings Plc said: “Following press speculation over the weekend, the board of Southampton Leisure plc confirms that it has not received a takeover approach from Andrew Strode-Gibbons or any other party.”

Demonstrations followed last week's goalless draw against Crystal Palace at the St Mary's Stadium, with angry fans calling for Lowe to quit.

Defeat by Plymouth at Home Park last night heaps further pressure on Lowe.

The recent departure of rising star Theo Walcott, who signed for Arsenal for a fee that could rise to £12m (€17.6m), added fuel to the fire for fans.

With a three-man consortium claiming to be ready to make an offer for Saints within the next 48 hours, Lowe would appear to be coming under fire from all angles.

“In any football club, and as chairman, it comes with the territory,” said Lowe in response to the criticism.

“What one has to try and do is remember the fans are passionate about the club and they love the club, and I bare no malice to any of the supporters.

“I will step down when the board says it is time for me to step down, or when I decide it is time.”

Lowe is also taking no notice of the consortium planning claiming they are set to seize control, particularly as it appears they are only prepared to offer £10m (€14.5m).

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