New Saints regime to keep Sir Clive?

July 1, 2006

LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) - Southampton's new regime hinted director of football Clive Woodward had a part to play in the future of the second division club despite the changes made behind the scenes.

Jim Hone, appointed chief executive after a consortium led by property developer Michael Wilde took over the running of the club from Rupert Lowe on Friday, praised former England rugby coach Woodward.

'We regard Clive highly,' Hone told Sky Sports News. 'We think there were some difficulties caused for Clive by misunderstandings about what his role actually was in the club.

'We've now clarified all that. At this stage we've heard nothing from Clive to suggest he's not happy with that clarification.'

After stepping down as chairman, Lowe said his parting wish was for Southampton to regain their Premier League status under manager George Burley.

'I want to see them promoted and to thrive,' said Lowe. 'I have devoted 10 years of my life to the club and I don't want to see it all unwind.'