Nearly four years after being hired, Ralph Hasenhuttl has been fired as Southampton’s manager as the team lingers in the Premier League’s relegation zone.
After a disastrous start to the season in which they only managed to win three out of their fourteen Premier League games, the Saints have decided to part ways with the 55-year-old.
Newcastle suffered a humiliating home loss on Sunday that was met with loud booing from the crowd, dropping them into the relegation zone and forcing club officials to take action.
“The men’s first-team manager, Ralph Hasenhüttl, has left Southampton Football Club,” the club announced in a statement.
“Richard Kitzbichler, a first-team assistant coach, left the team today as well.
Hasenhüttl, who was hired in December 2018, leaves the club having made a substantial contribution.
He oversaw some notable victories and was instrumental in the growth of our club’s infrastructure, identity, and playing team.
However, we now think that the moment is right to make a change.
Everyone connected with the club would want to give Ralph their heartfelt appreciation for all of his work and the steadfast dedication he displayed throughout his tenure as manager.
For our game on Wednesday night, First Team Lead Coach Rubén Sellés will serve in an interim managerial capacity. In due course, the club will reveal a permanent successor.”
Since taking over in January, Southampton’s Serbian owners have chosen to change the team’s management for the first time.
The controlling interest in the Saints was purchased by United Group founder Dragan Solak with a portion of his money; the acquisition cost is expected to be in the neighborhood of £100 million.
In order to build a different kind of football empire, Solak has joined up with Rasmus Ankersen, another Dane, and London-based businessman Henrik Kraft.
Solak is still a strategic adviser to United Group. His first significant move as club president was to fire Hasenhuttl after a string of poor performances.
Hasenhuttl has the difficult task of guiding the Saints away from the relegation zone after taking over from Mark Hughes in December 2018 following a dismal start to the season.
His first victory as Southampton’s new manager came in his third game, when Southampton defeated Arsenal 3-2, snapping the Gunners’ 22-game winning streak.
Saints placed 15th last year despite only winning one of their final 12 Premier League games, a 1-0 victory over Arsenal.
Southampton lost to Brentford to, Leicester, Villa, and Chelsea during that stretch before falling to Leeds and Burnley.
Southampton is a team in a life-or-death situation. They’re going down until they become more proactive and willing to suffer loss for the greater good,” according to former Saints manager Graeme Souness, who spoke to Sky Sports.
Southampton did not want to take that chance with Hasenhuttl still in command.