Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Saturday April 4 2009
The 'Save Our Saints' campaign has been launched as Southampton FC look to begin their fight for survival, with Charlton Athletic set to visit St Mary's later on today for what could prove to be a crucial relegation clash.
With Southampton's parent company, Southampton Leisure Holdings, having entered administration on Thursday, the club's long-term future hangs very much in the balance.
The 'Save Our Saints' campaign has been launched in a bid to unite the fanbase and get everyone right behind the team.
The following article has been taken from www.saintsfc.co.uk
Today's match against Charlton Athletic will be about more than just Championship survival, as the fight to preserve the future of Southampton Football Club itself begins in earnest . . .
Fans groups, individuals, celebrities and the city as a whole have been woken up to the reality of the club's perilous position and have risen as one, united in their determination to ensure the club can maintain it's rightful place at the heart of it's community.
Southampton is indisputably a Premier League club, in all but its league position. Whilst costs have been dramatically trimmed by the previous board, its assets have undoubtedly remained valuable assets none the less.
The Staplewood training ground in Marchwood, for instance, with its all-weather training dome, pristine practice pitches and award-winning groundstaff is a marvellous facility that offers any professional footballer the best environment possible in which to hone their game.
The Saints Academy is renowned for its success in producing some of the finest talents of recent years, with the likes of Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale gracing the Premier League and international scenes, and a host of other stars that have provided a vital source of income through their transfers down the years.
And that is not to mention those Academy graduates such as Andrew Surman, Adam Lallana, Lloyd James and David McGoldrick who have remained close to the place where their talents have been so carefully nurtured and who have risen to represent their countries and Southampton with equal pride.
St Mary's stadium is the envy of many clubs, with its 32,000 seat capacity, prime location in the heart of Hampshire and one of the finest set of supporters a club could ever wish for!
Who could forget the 2003 FA Cup final at the Millennium Stadium, when Saints fans were arguably the ultimate winners on the day in the eyes of the footballing community.
Arsenal may have won over 90 minutes on the pitch, but the passion and the pride of Southampton fans turned the Welsh capital into an unforgettable sea of yellow and blue that showed the whole world exactly what it meant to just be a part of it on that day.
1976 needs little introduction, but the names from that day - from Channon to Osgood, and Stokes to Rodrigues - live on in the memory, even beyond the lives of two of the men involved, and the whole team will remain immortal in the red half of Hampshire.
Mention must also surely be made of a certain Mr Le Tissier. The youngster from the Channel Islands who lit up The Dell and the rest of the football world with a once in a generation talent that has become synonymous with Southampton FC.
A one-club man and a true legend who wanted for nothing more that the adulation of the Saints faithful as he wore the red and white stripes with pride.
All of these qualities cannot be allowed to just wither and die. Memories and moments in time that make Southampton matter to so many separate lives.
Players will come and go, seasons will pass, matches will be won or lost, but the Club remains throughout it all - resolute and proud, reaching out to its community, enriching the lives of its supporters and bringing enjoyment to all of those who follow its fortunes come rain or shine.
Now is the time to act, to unite, to support and to send out the loudest message that we can. As one! Southampton Football Club is going nowhere - Not on my watch!
Apathy has no place in this campaign, nor complacency. Do not rely on others to do what you know you can do for yourself, or else this task will surely fall short of its ultimate goal.
Be in that number! Stand up for what you believe in! Sing from your heart! And show the world what it means to be a Saint. Let's do this! Save our Saints!
Date:Saturday April 4 2009
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