Not long now, Southampton fans! A return to Premier League action is on the horizon and it's been a productive week for the club off the field, as the boss put pen to paper on a four-year extension...
Saints’ June fixtures confirmed
Dates and kick-off times for the first three of Southampton's remaining nine 2019/20 Premier League fixtures have been revealed, with all being broadcast live on Sky Sports.
The order follows the original fixture schedule, but for the meeting with Arsenal, which was yet to receive a date following its postponement in February.
Saints begin with a trip to Norwich City on Friday 19th June (6pm BST), before hosting Arsenal on Thursday 25th June (6pm BST), and then travel to Watford on Sunday 28th June (4.30pm BST).
Premier League update on substitutions
Premier League Shareholders have agreed temporary changes to the rules relating to substitute players.
For the remainder of the 2019/20 season, the number of substitutes that can be used during a match will increase from three to five players.
Shareholders also approved for clubs to increase the maximum number of substitute players on the bench from seven to nine for the rest of the 2019/20 season.
Hasenhüttl signs four-year deal
Southampton Football Club is delighted to confirm that Ralph Hasenhüttl has signed a new four-year contract at St Mary’s.
The deal sees Hasenhüttl and the club further strengthen their commitment to each other, and to the long-term vision that has been developed for the first team and the wider football project.
Alongside Ralph, Richard Kitzbichler has also extended his contract as First Team Assistant Coach, and will continue to work alongside the existing first team staff of Craig Fleming, Dave Watson, Kelvin Davis, Andrew Sparkes and Alek Gross.
Long completes two-year extension
Southampton forward Shane Long has agreed a two-year contract extension at St Mary’s.
The Republic of Ireland international had been approaching the end of his pre-existing deal this summer, but is now set to remain with Saints until the end of the 2021/22 season.
Long has been with the club since the summer of 2014, recently making his 200th appearance for the team, and he has been an important part of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s squad since the manager took the helm 18 months ago.
Saints Foundation donate food to NHS Trusts
Saints Foundation staff were on hand last week to deliver more than 9,000 units of food and drink from St Mary’s Stadium to vital NHS workers across the city of Southampton.
A variety of bottled drinks and confectionary items, usually sold on home matchdays, were set to go unused due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
So, the football club and Saints Foundation came together to make sure the produce was put to good use by distributing it to Solent NHS Trust and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust sites throughout the city.
From the concourse to the couch
Football's making a return and you can get game-ready at home by picking up a Saints Matchday Box!
You'll get everything you need to support the Saints from the comfort of your sofa with a variety of options available for adults and kids, from just £35.
Each Matchday Box will include a special edition programme covering the remaining games of the 19/20 Premier League season – you can even include a 19/20 home shirt too.
Last chance for lockdown messages
Southampton Football Club will celebrate the return of Premier League football by releasing a collector’s edition matchday programme, and we want YOU to be part of it.
The 100-page souvenir publication will include a series of interviews with current and former players, an extended junior section featuring quizzes and games, as well as news of all of the club’s fine work in the community throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
What’s more, this unique issue of SAINTS will offer supporters the chance to send in their messages to loved ones – perhaps those they’ve been unable to see during lockdown – in a special Dedications spread. Simply send us the names, photos and brief messages of no more than 30 words to [email protected] by 5pm today.
Southampton expand partnership with Hartford Athletic
Southampton Football Club has expanded its partnership with American club Hartford Athletic by committing to support the USL Championship side’s new Youth Soccer Platform.
The link-up between Saints and Hartford began late last year, with Radhi Jaïdi being appointed as head coach of the Connecticut-based team and young winger Tyreke Johnson also moving to the US east coast on loan.
The partnership will now also see Southampton’s successful Global Programme integrated into Hartford’s Youth Soccer Platform. This will involve a focus on coach and player development, partnering on camps and clinics in both the US and UK, as well as the club’s expanding online programmes for grassroots coaches.
Benali tests his knowledge
In the final episode of The Isolate Inn, brought to you by Kingfisher, Franny Benali takes on Saints fan Godfrey in a head-to-head quiz to see who knew the most about the defender's time with Southampton.
The Isolate Inn is a virtual pub in which Tom Deacon brings supporters and Saints legends together.
Find out how much Benali can remember about his own career, and how many times he took to the pitch alongside best mate Matt Le Tissier.
Sustainable Saints: Marching on towards a greener future
Friday 5th June marked World Environment Day, and Southampton Football Club has outlined some of the initiatives the club has introduced aimed at reducing its impact on the environment.
We officially announced our Saints Sustainability drive back in August last year and we’ve not only introduced a number of green initiatives across the club, but have also produced a detailed strategy that sets out a clear vision with achievable goals we can continue working towards.
We’re introducing a culture of saving energy, reducing waste and ensuring it’s recycled properly, phasing out single-use plastics, and overall, supporting our fans to make positive changes too.