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Southampton name former Edmonton Oilers coach its new chairman

Mar 12, 2014, 8:31 AM EDT

Saints' owner Katharina Liebherr, left, has appointed Canadian Ralph Krueger as the man to take the ambitious PL club forward. Saints' owner Katharina Liebherr, left, has appointed Canadian Ralph Krueger as the man to take the ambitious PL club forward.

Ralph Krueger is the new chairman of Southampton Football Club, taking up the mantle held by influential Nicola Cortese.

Appointed by owner Katharina Liebherr, Krueger joined the club in February after helping Canada to a gold medal in men’s hockey at the Winter Olympics. He’s a former head coach of the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers and Swiss national team, and a big-time scorer in hockey’s Bundesliga with Dusseldorfer EG.

PST’s own Joe Prince-Wright is slated for an exclusive interview with Krueger later this morning, so keep it tuned here.

Here’s Krueger’s statement on the official Southampton site:

“I am honoured to take on the role of Chairman of Southampton Football Club and the group. I have had the opportunity to meet with a large percentage of the staff at Southampton and it is clear there is a positive soul throughout the Club, both at St Mary’s and the training ground.
“We will build on that soul by creating platforms of open communication both inside with the staff and outside with our fan base.
“Although there is a solid foundation in place, the Club still has tremendous untapped commercial potential. We will continue to nurture ‘The Southampton Way’ by reaching for consistent growth in all departments to ultimately build a culture that allows Southampton to remain healthy and sustainable in the future.”

This should lend some stability to Southampton, where there was much consternation once Cortese resigned in January, leading to speculation that manager Mauricio Pochettino would soon follow.

The 42-year-old Argentine elected to stay in his post and, despite a perceived big role in the Cortese fray, Liebherr is credited with moving quickly to stabilize the organization.

Keep checking back for Krueger’s talk with JPW.

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