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Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 12:28 UK

Newcastle chairman Mort moves on

Chris Mort and Kevin Keegan
Mort helped bring Keegan back to St James' Park

Chris Mort has stepped down as Newcastle United chairman.

He is returning to work for law firm Freshfields and deputy chairman Derek Llambias will replace him and have the new title of managing director.

The 42-year-old advised owner Mike Ashley during his takeover of the club in 2007 and played a key role in Kevin Keegan's return to Tyneside as manager.

David Williamson and Dennis Wise will be executive directors for operations and football respectively.

Mort told the club website: "The time feels right to return to Freshfields."

He became chairman in the summer of 2007 and held the responsibility for balancing the books following the departure of former chairman Freddie Shepherd.

And he said that he is leaving the club in a strong position.

"I've enjoyed my time as chairman immensely but the time was right, with high-quality individuals recruited for each of the key management roles and the club heading in the right direction," added Mort.

"I look forward to supporting the team next season and will get to as many matches as I can."

Llambias, who was appointed deputy chairman in May 2008 and is a long-term associate of Ashley, said: "We have the right people with the right expertise.

"With Kevin Keegan back as manager and being fully supported by Mike Ashley and the directors to take the club forward again."

see also
Shearer 'unaware' of Owls rumours
16 Jun 08 |  Sheff Wed
Newcastle target Argyle teenager
10 Jun 08 |  Plymouth
Rozehnal completes move to Lazio
10 Jun 08 |  Newcastle
Mort in for Shepherd at Newcastle
25 Jul 07 |  Newcastle
Mort confident over Keegan future
02 Mar 08 |  Newcastle

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