Struggling Southampton sack vice chairman Les Reed

Vice chairman Les Reed has been sacked by Southampton after its poor start to the Premier League season.

Southampton's former vice chairman Les Reed   -  Getty Images

Southampton has sacked vice chairman Les Reed, with the club 16th in the Premier League after seven games without a win.

Reed has been employed by Southampton in a variety of roles since 2010, but has paid the price for a poor start to the season, in which it has scored just twice since September.

Saints was thrashed 6-1 at Manchester City last Sunday to increase the pressure on manager Mark Hughes, who led the club to safety last term.

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Reed's departure was confirmed in a statement released by the club on Thursday, in which it stressed the importance of a change "that will provide new drive and direction to our football operations team and enable them to get results back on track".

"I would like to go on record to thank Les for the eight years of hard work and dedication he has given Southampton football club," said chairman Ralph Krueger.

"His time at the club will be remembered for the fine work he did in overseeing our progress through the divisions and establishing the club in the Premier League."

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"The process of recruiting the right individual to head up our football operations is under way and is a decision that needs to be given the necessary time and attention that reflects what an important position it is within our club."

"Now, more than ever, we are grateful for the continued support of our staff and fans as we work towards our joint aim of moving up the table."

It is reported technical director Martin Hunter has also left his role at the club. Southampton's next Premier League game is at home to Watford on Saturday, with some reports suggesting Hughes will be dismissed if it fails to win.

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