We Are Southampton, You Can’t Buy Us All


This was the Southampton side that lined up against Bournemouth last night.

When I was a ball-boy at Southampton, I used to get to the stadium for 1:45/2:00pm, throw on my gear, grab my stool and make my way out to pitch-side half hour before I was supposed to, just so I could sit in my club’s stadium, by my club’s pitch, and soak in the atmosphere.

Two years later, I sit here in a solemn silence as the greatest Southampton side of my generation is ruthlessly and meticulously torn apart but the carnivorous vultures that sit atop the Premier League food chain. Lambert, Lallana and Lovren to Liverpool; Shaw to Manchester United; Chambers to Arsenal, with Osvaldo still yet to go, and it could yet get worse with rumoured bids and enquires from the Gunners and London-rivals Tottenham for Schneiderlin and Rodriguez respectively.

Altogether, Southampton will have raked in £95m (give or take) on the back of the three Anfield sales, Chambers and Shaw – a gargantuan transfer kitty which was already promised to be re-invested back in to the first team by our Head of Football Development, Les Reed – the man who said we weren’t a selling club, and didn’t want to sell any of our stars – but under the circumstances, I have to keep my blind, ignorant faith in the man.

My view of Southampton vs Real Sociedad during last year’s pre-season

Unfortunately for the board, Chambers may well be the straw that broke the camels back for many Saints fans. We could understand Lambert and Shaw – we encouraged Lallana and Lovren when their attitudes and poor handling of the situations were revealed. But Chambers? The academy graduate who only broke in to the first team last year? The youngster we had no reason to assume would leave us so soon, especially on the back of those promises? It’s understandable that so many people have lost patience with our board.

And yet as I sit here today, still recovering from last night’s ferocious storm of Southampton sale stories (which included Chambers, Schneiderlin and Rodriguez bids all being announced by journalists within a thirty minute period), I say this; words are a powerful thing. I struggled with myself for a good fifteen minutes, trying to decide whether to use “buy” or “sell” in this article’s title. To say “sell” is to lose patience with our board. To say “buy” is to lose patience with other clubs.

Southampton are in a rough way, and we as fans are having to endure the tired old jokes (see the screen cap from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” gag) and the equally as haggard cliches (“will the last person out of St. Mary’s please turn out the lights?” is the popular right now). These are the clubs and the targets that Nicola Cortese was swatting away and hanging up on last year – it’s only natural that, now under realistic owners, we’re listening to offers when the money is right (or extortionate in some cases).

More from Premier League

Saints fans don’t have to like it, and I sure as anything don’t like it myself, but I have to remember those days sitting in an empty stadium an hour before kick off, just enjoying being at St. Mary’s. It’s like Bane says in that speech outside Blackgate Prison: “This great city… it will endure. Gotham will survive!” Switch Gotham for Southampton and city for club, and the analogy works.

The clock is ticking ominously towards kick off at Anfield, and we still need replacements for Shaw, Lovren and now Chambers, with back-up for Pelle, Rodriguez and Boruc also required. If the rumours are true, and they’re coming in the shape of Neil Taylor, Virgil Van Dijk, Danny Ings, Nathan Redmond and Fraser Forster, then Southampton will be fine, and we will endure. But these deals need tying up quickly to plug the gaps in the ship, just as much as to satiate the fans’ growing despair.

This summer isn’t easy, and it’s becoming harder than we ever imagined it would be, but Southampton fans, carry this song in your heart. Carry it to Anfield on the opening day, to the Emirates and to Old Trafford, and let the whole league know that you can’t keep a good club down:

"“You can’t buy us all,You can’t buy is aaaa-aaaall!We are Southampton! You can’t buy us all!”"