In January, we passed along word that former Edmonton bench boss Ralph Krueger had been hired by Southampton F.C. to serve as an aide to club owner Katharina Liebherr.
Now, he’s set to become much, much more than just an aide. From our friends over at ProSoccerTalk:
Ralph Krueger is the new chairman of Southampton Football Club, taking up the mantle held by influential Nicola Cortese.
Appointed by owner Katharina Liebherr, Krueger joined the club in February after helping Canada to a gold medal in men’s hockey at the Winter Olympics.
He’s a former head coach of the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers and Swiss national team, and a big-time scorer in hockey’s Bundesliga with Dusseldorfer EG.
Krueger, 54, issued a statement on the Southampton website.
“I am honoured to take on the role of Chairman of Southampton Football Club and the group,” he said.“I have had the opportunity to meet with a large percentage of the staff at Southampton and it is clear there is a positive soul throughout the Club, both at St Mary’s and the training ground.
“We will build on that soul by creating platforms of open communication both inside with the staff and outside with our fan base. Although there is a solid foundation in place, the Club still has tremendous untapped commercial potential. We will continue to nurture ‘The Southampton Way’ by reaching for consistent growth in all departments to ultimately build a culture that allows Southampton to remain healthy and sustainable in the future.”
Krueger went 19-22-7 in his lone year in Edmonton, briefly flirting with a playoff push during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign.
He’s known as an innovative thinker — last year, he raised some eyebrows by saying he and his staff were treating the shootout as a “third special team,” and had goalie coach Frederic Chabot scout opposing goalies for tips and strategies.
As mentioned above, Krueger also helped scout for and assist Canada’s gold medal-winning Olympic team at the ’14 Winter Games in Sochi.