SAINTS’ majority shareholder Gao Jisheng invited the club’s chairman Ralph Krueger and fellow owner Katharina Liebherr to China to celebrate Chinese New Year – and watch the team’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

The trio are pictured here alongside Gao’s daughter, Nelly, with Saints scarves draped around their necks as they tuned into watch Mauricio Pellegrino’s men in action.

The group are together ahead of the Chinese New Year, which arrives this Friday, February 16.

Saints were embracing the traditions of their new owner’s homeland at St Mary’s ahead of the new year, with people dressed as golden Chinese dragons putting on a display before the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

The dragons laid on a performance in front of the Kingsland Stand while snow swirled around St Mary’s.

None of this brought Saints good fortune, however, as Pellegrino’s men slumped back into the Premier League's relegation zone with a defeat, which ended their six-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

With teams around them winning, Saints ended the weekend in 18th place in the Premier League as Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah fired Liverpool to victory.

It would have undoubtedly been a difficult watch for Gao, who bought an 80 per cent share in Saints for around £210m last August from the Liebherr family, who still have a 20 per cent stake in the club.