June 25, 2024

Russell Martin’s appointment as Southampton manager had felt inevitable for more than a month.

For many at St Mary’s and Swansea City — the club he would be leaving — it was a case of when not if.

Following the eventual confirmation of his appointment on Wednesday, the two Championship teams are locked in a bitter row over money and principle, with both showing little willingness to give an inch. The possibility of a legal battle is real, with the stand-off showing no signs of being resolved.

Swansea’s 104-word statement confirming Martin’s departure suggested the 37-year-old had left of his own accord after two seasons in charge — likely leaving the two clubs to contest the compensation figure in a tribunal — and doubled down on their long-standing viewpoint that they are still owed “full compensation”.

 

“Swansea City can confirm head coach Russell Martin has left the club to join Southampton,” the statement read. “Martin had a little over 12 months remaining on the three-year deal he signed upon arriving at the Swansea.com Stadium in August 2021.

“The club also stands firm in our belief that we are owed full compensation for Russell and we will continue working diligently and strategically to protect the best interests of the club. Swansea City would like to place on record its thanks to Russell for his work during his time in SA1. The club will update supporters regarding a new first-team coaching staff in due course.”

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