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BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar on Ken Bates' letter
"Bates spares nobody's blushes"
 real 14k

The Guardian's sport correspondent Vivek Chaudhary
"It's what we've come to expect of Mr Bates"
 real 14k

banner Thursday, 8 February, 2001, 11:09 GMT
Bates quits Wembley project
Ken Bates
Bates will take no further part in Wembley project
Ken Bates has launched a scathing attack on sports minister Kate Hoey and the Football Association after resigning from the board of the Wembley National Stadium Limited.

Bates sent a letter to FA chief executive Adam Crozier which made his anger clear at the lack of backing he received by his former WNSL colleagues.

Bates was replaced as chairman of WNSL by Sir Rodney Walker in December and became vice-chairman.

  Bates complaints
Bates says he is disappointed Sir Rodney Walker did not arrange a meeting with him.
Sir David Hill-Wood, vice-chairman of WNSL while Bates was chairmam is decribed as "my Brutus".
Hill-Wood works for WNSL's financial advisers Investec. Bates says: "Their performance has simply been pathetic."
Lead bankers Chase Manhattan do not escape. "The performance of Chase Manhattan has been abject. Their approach seems to have been riven by internal dissent."

The move followed Crozier's decision to step and assume a more hands-on role in the project to renovate Wembley amid concerns over costs and delays.

Bates claims Crozier approached Manchester United plc chairman Sir Roland Smith "without any authority" asking if he would be willing to replace the Chelsea chairman as head of the WNSL board.

For her role in the saga, Hoey did not escape Bates' wrath.

In his letter, Bates said: "I acquired Wembley for the FA and made a substantial operating profit... despite having inherited a lacklustre leaderless management."

Bates also criticised the media for a "sustained press campaign to undermine both the project itself and my own credibility".

Careful consideration

He continued: "We know a considerable part of it came from Kate Hoey and her lackeys.

"But it is also clear that a lot came from within the Football Association itself.

"It was quite disgraceful that not one single person on either board stood up to publicly defend the project and my position."

He added: "It would take another four years of my life to complete the project and after careful consideration I have decided I do not want to spend it working with people, a number of whom I neither trust nor respect.

"I therefore resign from the board of WNSL with immediate effect."

Personal attacks

The FA claim Bates' letter contains inaccuracies in their response.

"He has shared with all of us the ambition of building the best stadium in the world as the new home of English football," said an FA statement.

"While the letter contains some inaccuracies, they in no way detract from the contribution he has made."

Hoey said: "I have no intention of responding to Mr Bates' personal attacks except to wish him well in his other business interests."

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Six-month delay for new Wembley
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