Struggling Saints are very much in the red

LONDON: Southampton have dipped into the red with interim pre-tax losses of £1.65mil (US$3.11mil) as they bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League. 

The south-coast club, who are 18th in the table, had declared pre-tax profits of £1.91mil for the same year earlier six-month period to Nov 30, 2003. 

Turnover was up £200,000 to £18.9mil, matchday income rose £400,000 to £6.2mil and broadcasting income increased £700,000 to £8.8mil. 

However, there was a loss on player trading of £2.6mil and a drop in kit sales led to commercial income falling from £4.5mil to £3.9mil, while operating costs rose by £900,000 to £20.1mil. 

The figures do not include striker James Beattie's six million pound move to Everton this month. 

On the pitch, Southampton's fortunes have nose-dived since the departure of manager Gordon Strachan in February 2004. 

Harry Redknapp, appointed last month, is the club's third boss since Strachan's exit, while the team have won only three of their 24 league games this season. 

Chairman Rupert Lowe said a series of injuries and “management instability” had not helped Southampton but ruled out a spending spree before the January transfer window closes on Monday in a bid to try and avoid the drop. 

Southampton have so far signed Redknapp's son Jamie on a free transfer, brought in the midfielder's former Tottenham Hotspur team mate Calum Davenport on loan and bought Nigel Quashie from rivals Portsmouth for £2.1mil. 

“Our current job is to try and extricate ourselves from our current difficulty without putting the long term future of the club at risk,” said Lowe. 

“We believe that the depth of our existing squad, combined with our recent signings, gives us an excellent chance of success but we are always aware of the fact that sporting success is an art and not a science.” – Reuters 

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