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Thursday, March 11, 1999 Published at 17:37 GMT

Premiership chiefs quit

Peter Leaver: The latest casualty among football's administrators

British football has been rocked by another administrative crisis, with the announcement that the two leading figures in the Premier League have quit their posts.

Mike Ingham analyses the mess English football's administrators are in (5 LIve)
Chief executive Peter Leaver and chairman Sir John Quinton have both resigned in an on-going row over lucrative contracts which were awarded without the prior knowledge of club chairmen.

The pair sparked opposition from a number of leading chairmen when they agreed contracts with former BSkyB executives Sam Chisholm and David Chance with a view to renegotiating future TV rights deals.

Premier League spokesman Mike Lee announces the resignations (5 Live)
The news of their departure was broken after a meeting of the 20 top-flight club chairmen in central London, following speculation that there could be further calls for Leaver and Quinton to step down.

Mike Foster, the secretary of the Premier League, has been appointed as acting chief executive, with Sheffield Wednesday chairman Dave Richards named as acting chairman.

Blood on football's carpet

Graham Kelly: The Premier League club chairmen "aren't the easiest people to get on with" (5 Live)
The contract dispute is only the latest crisis to hit British football in recent months.

The Football Association also lost its chief executive Graham Kelly and chairman Keith Wiseman in a "cash-for-votes" row.

And the Scottish Football Association last week sacked its chief executive Jim Farry in a dispute over the delayed registration of a Celtic player.

Resignations accepted

Once it was revealed that Leaver and Quinton had agreed deals with the ex-BSkyB bosses their future was thrown into question.

[ image: Sam Chisholm: His appointment led to the double resignation]
Sam Chisholm: His appointment led to the double resignation
A working party was set up by the Premier League chairmen to investigate whether the contracts, which were potentially worth millions of pounds to both Chisholm and Chance, could be renegotiated.

The working party reported back to a scheduled meeting of the 20 Premiership chairmen on Thursday.

The Premier League then released a statement saying it had accepted the resignations of Leaver and Quinton.

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