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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April, 2003, 06:41 GMT 07:41 UK
Ridsdale severs Leeds ties
A Leeds supporter joins the protests against Peter Ridsdale
Ridsdale was unpopular with fans

Peter Ridsdale has severed all links with Leeds United by resigning as a member of the Yorkshire club's plc and football club boards.

Ridsdale quit as chairman of Leeds in March after six years at the helm, in the wake of a crisis-torn season at Elland Road.

Leeds sacked manager David O'Leary before the current campaign got underway and replaced him with Terry Venables, only to fire the ex-England boss last month.

That followed a fire-sale of the club's best players which saw Jonathan Woodgate, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Robbie Keane and Lee Bowyer all leave.

Former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale
Ridsdale worked with three managers in one season

Peter Reid was installed as interim manager until the end of the season - one of Ridsdale's last acts as chairman.

Then Ridsdale quit, but he remained as a director until Thursday when the London stock exchange was informed that he had left the club altogether.

His successor as Elland Road chairman, John McKenzie, said Ridsdale had stepped aside in order to pursue other business activities.

In his statement to the Stock Exchange, McKenzie said: "Peter has other business interests that he wishes to pursue and we have agreed that it is in the best interests of both parties that he stands down from the board of Leeds United and of the football club."

Ridsdale told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I've had 16 years as a director and enjoyed every minute.

"But given that there are other avenues I am now pursuing it could be seen as a conflict of interests to remain any longer.

"I shall be taking time out to reflect and think about the future, but whatever happens I will remain a big fan of Leeds. My heart will always be in Leeds United.

"I can now enjoy the Leeds games as a season ticket holder and I sincerely wish all the best to Professor McKenzie, the management team, the players and particularly the fans."

BBC Five Live's Andy Swiss
"It seems likely Ridsdale will receive a pay-off"


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