Wednesday, December 16, 1998 Published at 00:12 GMT
Kelly denies 'skulking' out of the back door
Graham Kelly (left), pictured with Keith Wiseman (right) on a recent visit to Downing Street
Graham Kelly, who has resigned as chief executive of the Football Association, has denied any wrong-doing.
He was speaking as the head of the government's football task force David Mellor described the FA as "ramshackle" and "wholly inadequate" to run the modern national game.
Mr Kelly said: "I'm very sorry indeed that it's ended with me walking out of here tonight. But I'm certainly not going to skulk out of the back door. I'm walking out of the front door."
The executive committee of the FA has also passed a vote of no confidence in chairman Keith Wiseman, after allegations he approved the loan. He has declined to resign.
Mr Kelly said: "We had an issue where we couldn't take the executive committee with us, notwithstanding that we'd acted entirely in the best interests of the FA throughout and tried to do what was best for the FA in every respect.
"We weren't able to convince our executive of that and the end result is that I've resigned on agreed terms."
'It's a big disappointment'
Mr Kelly, whose duties will be taken on for the moment by the FA's director of public affairs David Davies, said: "I'm not embarrassed, but it's certainly a very big disappointment for me personally."
"But I certainly believe that everything we did was in the very best interests of the Football Association and of English football."
Mr Kelly, 52, said he was confident his departure would not jeopardise England's bid to host the 2006 World Cup.
He said: "There's no reason why this should cause it any damage, provided that everybody pulls round and stays behind the bid.
"The bid is not the FA's bid, it is for England. It's backed by the government, the Premier League and the Sports Council, and as such there's an awful lot riding on it."
Mr Kelly, who failed to make the grade as a footballer with his beloved Blackpool, did not say whether he planned to take legal advice over his position. He also declined to discuss his future plans.