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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ex-NHL coach named Saints chairman

Former Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger has been appointed chairman of Premier League side Southampton just weeks after helping Canada to ice hockey gold at the Winter Olympics.

Ralph Krueger was head coach of NHL team Edmonton Oilers from June 2012 to June 2013.
Ralph Krueger was head coach of NHL team Edmonton Oilers from June 2012 to June 2013.

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Krueger, 54, was a special adviser to the Canadian team in Sochi, having previously held roles as head coach for the Oilers and the Switzerland ice hockey team.

The Canadian-born ex-Germany international was appointed by owner Katharina Liebherr to replace Nicola Cortese, who left his position as executive chairman in January.

"I am honoured to take on the role of chairman of Southampton Football Club and the group," Krueger said. "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.''

Krueger, a member of the World Economic Forum, was brought in as part of a restructure, with Liebherr adding saying: "Ralph has an impressive background in major league sport at all levels, it is his experience as an expert in leadership, motivation and team-building that makes him ideally suited for this important position in the Saints organisation,"

"He has been a leading adviser and coach to senior management in large international corporations for the past 20 years. In addition, he has been an active member of the World Economic Forum since 2011. The news that Ralph has agreed to take on the role of chairman at the club follows a calm and steady process of identifying a board that will bring the stability needed to achieve long-term success both on and off the pitch.

"I will remain on the board, with an active involvement, and we will continue to move forward with great respect for Saints' history, while at the same time work towards a process that is creative, unique, dynamic and modern."

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