Southampton’s Chief Commercial Officer, Charlie Boss, has emphasized the commitment of the club’s owners, Sport Republic, to ensuring a strong long-term future. According to Boss, Sport Republic encourages the club’s leadership to be bold and take risks, a philosophy that sets them apart from more risk-averse organizations.
Having joined Southampton from The Jockey Club in early 2023, Boss highlighted Sport Republic’s approach in a recent interview with SportsPro Media. The investment firm, founded by Dragan Solak, Henrik Kraft, and Rasmus Ankersen, took over Southampton in January 2022, implementing significant changes at the board level.
Boss stressed the key message from Sport Republic to the club’s leadership: “Be bold and take risks; we’ve got your back.” This approach, according to Boss, provides him with complete certainty about the club’s long-term prospects. He noted Sport Republic’s unwavering commitment to both on-field and off-field projects, setting Southampton apart in a culture where risk aversion is not uncommon.
Drawing a contrast between Southampton’s approach and that of other organizations, Boss emphasized the importance of doing things differently in club football, especially considering the Premier League’s competitive nature. He noted that failure to innovate and take risks could result in a club becoming a commoditized asset, with its market value determined by external forces.
Boss also delved into the impact of relegation on Southampton’s revenue, highlighting a 50% drop immediately following the drop to the Championship. He explained that while revenue generation aspects such as ticketing and retail remain consistent, the shift from a global Premier League audience to a Southampton Football Club audience significantly affects sponsorship values.
In response to this challenge, Southampton has focused on reconnecting with local businesses, securing partnerships with companies like Draper Tools and Mairon Freight UK. Boss expressed confidence in regaining a Premier League position without losing the connection established with local businesses and the community.
Reflecting on the club’s past, Boss acknowledged a growing disconnect with the fanbase and community during their final years in the Premier League, attributed in part to challenging results. He revealed that the commercial team’s primary focus since his arrival six months ago has been rebuilding this connection, with initiatives like a fan advisory board playing a crucial role in decision-making to enhance fan engagement.