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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Stephen Lansdown to step down as Bristol City chairman

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Lansdown explains Bristol City departure

Bristol City chairman Stephen Lansdown is to step down from his role at the end of the season with chief executive Colin Sexstone taking over the role.

The 58-year-old, who replaced John Laycock as chairman in 2002, will also relinquish his role on City's board but remain the club's majority shareholder.

"I looked at the current board and saw we were all getting a bit long in the tooth," Lansdown told BBC Points West.

"So we need energy and a board that can take us to where we want to be."

Although the self-made multi-millionaire was quick to point out he would continue to back the club financially, Lansdown made it clear things would change.

"There's certainly been a culture of the last couple of years within the club that says it doesn't matter if we make a mess of things because Steve Lansdown will pick up the bill," he said.

"Well that's a bail out and I'm not going to be bailing out the club in the future but what I am saying is that I will invest in this football club and I will invest in a proper business plan.

"If Keith Millen is looking for players and the development of the playing side then I will back that.

I'm not going to be bailing out the club in the future but what I am saying is that I will invest in this football club

Stephen Lansdown

"If Colin is looking for money to invest in the community or the new stadium then I will look at that and invest accordingly.

"I am very excited at the prospect of working with the board to achieve the vision of Bristol City playing at the highest level in the best possible surroundings.

"It has not been an easy decision to relinquish these positions and you can rest assured it has not been taken lightly or quickly.

"However, I strongly believe this will benefit the club and ultimately allow it to move to being self sufficient."

Lansdown will officially step down on 31 May with Sexstone stepping up and Guy Price, current business development director, replacing Sexstone as CEO.

As a Bristolian, a Bedminster-boy, it's a remarkable honour. I'm proud to be given this chance. It's a new challenge for me and one I relish

Colin Sextone

"I am delighted that Colin has accepted the role of chairman. He has been with the club for 10 years and shown his passion for it," added Lansdown.

"Colin's experience will be invaluable to Guy Price, our new chief executive.

"In his two years with us Guy has shown enthusiasm in abundance, determination to succeed and the ability to lead others."

Sexstone added: "As a Bristolian, a Bedminster-boy, it's a remarkable honour. I'm proud to be given this chance. It's a new challenge for me and one I relish."

The outgoing chairman cited the 2008 play-off Wembley final against Hull as his personal highlight while being in charge.

But he admitted to being 'annoyed' at the protracted nature of his attempts to get a new 30,000 seater stadium built at Ashton Vale to help achieve his dream of seeing top flight football at his beloved club.

"Yes we know we have hurdles to overcome but we'll overcome those hurdles and we will get there," said Lansdown, in a rare display of emotion.

"That stadium will be built, I'm telling you, that stadium will be built."



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