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Ex-Fulham directors to move in at Southampton

last updated Tuesday 16th May 2006, 9:10 AM

Jim HoneThe Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe faces a vote for his removal from the board of directors after the announcement last night of an extraordinary general meeting of the club's parent company, Southampton Leisure Holdings.

After weeks of manoeuvring Michael Wilde, the largest individual shareholder, has proposed the removal of Lowe, the managing director Andrew Cowen, Michael Richards, David Windsor-Clive and the former chairman Guy Askham.

In their place Wilde, Ken Dulieu, Jim Hone, Lee Hoos and Patrick Trant have been put forward as potential successors.

Lee HoosBoth Hone and Hoos have previous experience in football. Hone has been business operations director at Celtic and chief executive at Fulham, while Hoos has been deputy managing director and football business director at Fulham.

Sources close to Wilde have said that he would not call an EGM unless he was confident of toppling Lowe from the position of chairman which he has held for more than nine years.

Wilde personally controls 24.75% of shares but is also likely to be backed by other significant shareholders, including Leon Crouch, who owns 9.95%. Lowe has a personal shareholding of 6.69% and could expect the support of other board members and shareholders with an estimated 20%. The intentions of other shareholders are not known.

Wilde has confirmed that he would like George Burley to continue as head coach but, although he has previously said that he supports Sir Clive Woodward, he made no mention of the rugby union World Cup winner in a statement released last night. Having been appointed by Lowe, Woodward's position as director of football would surely come under scrutiny by a new board.

Source Jeremy Wilson at The Guardian
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