The gloom at Southampton deepened today when the Pinnacle group, the consortium fronted by Matthew Le Tissier, formally withdrew from the race to take over the stricken League One
club, leaving the administrator, Mark Fry, left to scrutinize two bids from abroad as he desperately seeks new owners.
"It is with great regret and frustration due to ongoing issues with the Football League that I and in turn those behind the Pinnacle consortium decided to withdraw our interest in purchasing Southampton Football Club," said Le Tissier. "With the ongoing issues with the Football League persisting, our backers have simply refused to provide the requisite funds to complete the takeover."
The lingering uncertainty of the club's future financial backing could cause the departure of the club's managing staff and many of its top players. "I have my last day today [as head coach] and then probably I will stop doing this job," said Mark Wotte, the club's 14th manager in 15 years.