Saints chairman Ralph Krueger has revealed that St Mary’s will undergo a three-year refurbishment programme, while new majority owner Gao Jisheng is considering a range of other investments in the region.

Krueger, who defended Gao and his family from criticism after their £210m purchase of an 80 per cent stake of the club from Katharina Liebherr, promised a better fan experience.

Though exact details have yet to be revealed, Krueger told the Daily Echo that St Mary’s would undergo a full facelift for the first time since it opened in 2001, although that would not include increasing the stadium’s capacity.

He also said plans are underway to further develop the club’s magnificent Staplewood training facility, and that Gao is considering purchases around the ground to allow the club further commercial growth, as well as potential investment in other businesses in the area.

Krueger also hit back at suggestions fans should be worried by the influx of Chinese money without explanation, and said: “I think they (fans) need to look at it more encouragingly that they have come in here and are respecting what the club stands for, how the club culturally functions, and what we have here.

“I think the norm would be making huge splashes and changing the faces of the board and so on and so forth which is what they have purposely not done.

“Everybody will get to know them over time.”