London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sees Southampton relegated from Premier League

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sees Southampton relegated from Premier League

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was an unhappy onlooker as his football club Southampton suffered relegation

With his party coming off heavy losses in the local elections, he may have been hoping for some good news as he took his seat at St Mary's Stadium.

However, sitting in the stands in jeans and a grey hoodie, he saw Fulham score twice in the second half to end his club's 11-year Premier League stay.

Rivals Fulham fans inevitably sang the chant "Rishi, Rishi, what's the score".

Southampton's loss on Saturday puts them eight points adrift of safety with two matches to play, and not even a parliamentary intervention would be able to change their fate now.

Born and raised in Southampton, Sunak has long spoken of his support of the team.

A biography of Mr Sunak has previously said as a youngster his father Yashvir was a season ticket holder, and one of the prime minister's "most prized possessions" was a card he received for his 18th birthday signed by the entire squad.

However, during his bid to become prime minister in August last year he came under the intense glare of the football community after saying Southampton's could improve their fortunes by beating Manchester United that coming weekend.

The team were playing Leicester City, but did have United the following week.

Rishi Sunak sat in the VIP area at Saturday's game

His teams had two goals put past them in the second half to see them fall out of the top flight for the first time in over a decade


Supporting a football team is often seen as a way for political leaders to broaden their appeal, but can prove a tricky business.

David Cameron claimed to be a Aston Villa fan, but a blunder in a speech in 2015 saw him claim the top flight's other claret and blue team West Ham - something he later put down to "brain fade".

A Newcastle United fan, Sir Tony Blair received ridicule for a number of years due an apparent claim to have seen club legend Jackie Milburn play at St James Park in the 1950s - even though the player had retired when he was five.

In 2008, the regional newspaper which first reported it clarified it had come from something misheard on the radio.

One former prime minister was never likely to make this kind of slip-up. Gordon Brown was a staunch fan of Scottish lower league side Raith Rovers and could happily recite to interviewers the full line-up of the first match he saw as a seven-year-old.

And possibly to add to Sunak's pain, Southampton's rivals Fulham have their own connection with Downing Street.

After the match, Fulham's Twitter account showed a picture of Sunak grimacing in the crowd, along with their own caption "Sorry, the only Prime Minister we recognise is Hugh Grant" - a nod to the dancing PM portrayed in 2003 romantic comedy Love Actually.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Global Outage Caused by CrowdStrike Update Impacts Millions
Massive Flight Cancellations Across the U.S. Due to Microsoft Outage
Global Windows Outage Causes Chaos Across Banks, Airlines, and More
Russia Accuses Ukraine of Using Chemical Weapons
UK's Flawed COVID-19 Planning Exposed by Inquiry
Ursula von der Leyen Wins Second Term as European Commission President
Police Officer Injured in Attack in Central Paris
Hulk Hogan absolutely tore it up at the RNC.
Paris is being "cleansed" of migrants and homeless people ahead of the Olympics.
Lamine Yamal arriving at his school after winning the Euros
Campaigners Urge UK Government to Block Shein's London IPO
UK Labour Government's Legislative Agenda
UK Labour Government to Regulate Powerful AI Models
Record Heat Temperatures in Ukraine Amid Power Crisis
UK Government Plans to Remove 92 Hereditary Peers from House of Lords
King Charles III Delivers Labour Government's First King's Speech
Officials Remove 'Disastrous' Label from Liz Truss's Mini-Budget
Keir Starmer Outlines Ambitious Plans for Government
Japan to Allocate $3.3 Billion to Ukraine Using Frozen Russian Assets
EU Parliament Condemns Hungarian PM's Russia Visit
FBI Struggles to Find Motive Behind Trump Shooting Incident
Kremlin Criticizes EU Rejection of Orban’s Ukraine Peace Proposal
Google and Microsoft Now Consume More Power Than Several Large Countries
Secret Service Criticized for Lack of Sniper Protection During Trump Shooting
US Senator Robert Menendez Found Guilty of Corruption
Deep Concerns about Political Violence as US Approaches Election Day
Trump Media Shares Surge Following Re-Election Bid Boost
The gunman who attempted to assassinate Donald Trump Saturday is 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks
Banksy's Influence on Port Talbot's Street Art Scene
Bodies of Two Men Found in Suitcases on Bristol Bridge, 24-Year-Old Arrested
Kate Middleton to Attend Wimbledon Men's Final Amid Cancer Recovery
Russia's Electronic Warfare Neutralizes Western Weapons in Ukraine
Trump Challenges Biden to Debate and Golf Match
Macron Accuses Israeli Minister of Election Interference
US Senator Highlights Weaknesses in Western Military Industry During Ukraine Conflict
George Clooney Urges Biden to Withdraw from Presidential Race
Political Shift in the UK: A Detailed Analysis of Labour's Victory and Future Prospects
Viktor Orbán's Peace Mission: A Diplomatic Controversy in the EU
India Advocates Peace and Prosperity: PM Modi's Speech in Austria
New UK PM Keir Starmer Reaffirms Strong Support for Ukraine at NATO Summit
Spain PM Pedro Sanchez Denounces Double Standards on Gaza at NATO Summit
UK Police Arrest Suspect in Crossbow Attack After Three Women Killed
Sunita Williams Safe on ISS, to Address Earth on July 10
Biden Affirms Commitment To Presidential Race
France Faces Political Turmoil and Airport Strikes Ahead of Paris Olympics 2024
Putin Hosts PM Modi for a Private Meeting
TSMC: The Taiwanese Chip Giant Valued Over $1 Trillion
Boeing Pleads Guilty Over 737 MAX Crashes
2024 Predicted to Be World's Hottest Year
Iran's President-Elect Masoud Pezeshkian Reiterates Support for Hezbollah
×