Southampton have appointed Russell Martin as their new manager, following the club’s relegation to the Championship. Martin, 37, has left Swansea to take up his new position, having managed in south Wales since August 2021, putting to an end a dispute between the two clubs over compensation.
The former Scotland international led Swansea to within three points of a Championship playoff berth in the most recent campaign, but has now been tempted to a club who finished bottom of last season’s Premier League, after a campaign that featured three managers in Ralf Hasenhüttl, Nathan Jones and latterly Rubén Sellés. He has signed a three-year contract.
Martin, quoted in a club press release said: “It’s a privilege to accept this opportunity at Southampton, a club with such a long and rich history. My aim is to get this club back where it belongs – in the top flight of English football.
“I am ready for this challenge and will give everything to achieve this aim and to give the supporters a team that makes them proud. I’m thrilled to be here and cannot wait for the work to begin.”
Henrik Kraft, the club chairman who is a member of the Sport Republic consortium who bought Saints in January 2022 said: “We are extremely excited to welcome Russell to Southampton.
“Russell was the stand-out candidate throughout our recruitment process and we are confident his strong track record, alongside the experienced leadership of our new director of football, Jason Wilcox, will deliver great results.”
Wilcox, who has joined from Manchester City, where he was previously academy director, said: “Russell has shown fantastic qualities in his managerial career so far and is someone who we believe will thrive in the great environment we have here at Southampton.
“He is a fantastic fit for what we are trying to achieve, with a strong record of developing and nurturing young, talented players to fulfil their potential and deliver results on the pitch.”
Martin’s appointment, agreed with the club last month, was delayed by negotiations over compensation with Swansea, who are in the process of appointing Barnsley’s Michael Duff as replacement. Swansea had argued Southampton should pay maximum compensation for a manager with a year left on his contract, after approaching them while still a Premier League club but an agreement has now been reached, with announcements on Martin’s coaching staff to follow in due course.