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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 11:28 GMT
Scottish rugby chief steps down
SRU chief executive Phil Anderton
Phil Anderton was a close ally of David Mackay
Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Phil Anderton has resigned his post as the power struggle for the game's future continues.

He becomes the fifth man to leave the SRU's executive board this week after the general committee moved to oust chairman David Mackay.

However, the future of the committee, made up of amateur members elected from Scotland's club sides, is now in doubt.

A 30 January meeting will consider major structural change for the SRU.

Fred McLeod, who was president in the 1996-97 season and appointed interim chairman after MacKay's resignation, has also assumed the role of interim chief executive.

The appointment was made with the full approval of the general committee, according to the SRU.

I am not prepared to work under this regime
Phil Anderton
It is believed that the leading clubs will call for an end to the committee when the special general meeting considers a strategic review report into the SRU.

Spokesman Kenny Hamilton said: "We need to keep the sport integrated and I have not met any club or individual who thought removing David Mackay was appropriate."

Non-executive directors Fraser Livingston, Andrew Flanagan and Eric Hagman quit on Tuesday in protest at Mackay's departure.

Mackay had received a no-confidence vote from the general committee, which fears a loss of its powers and were opposed to plans for restructuring in a bid to improve the administration of Scotland's three professional clubs as well as the Test team.

Anderton was a close allay of Mackay and said: "It is with great regret that I tended my resignation.

"There is no doubt the removal of David Mackay as the chairman of Scottish rugby and the resignation of non-executives (directors) is scandalous and is a crisis for Scottish rugby.

"I am not prepared to work under this regime.

"As the CEO of Scottish rugby, I find the complete lack of consultation for the removal of the chairman, my boss, and no discussions with the non-executives is unacceptable.

"It's all about governance, who runs the game. If the appropriate structures are put in place and Dave Mackay is reinstated, if I was asked to come back, I would be delighted, but the structure is the most important thing."

A further departure has also been confirmed with general committee member Iain Brown, who was the schools representative, also resigning on Wednesday.

A group of senior players were set to meet in Edinburgh on Tuesday night to discuss the developments.

"There is a lot of concern at the moment over the future and the lack of stability in the game and I felt it was important players got together to discuss their concerns," Glasgow winger Kenny Logan told the Scotsman.

"There is real concern over the removal of David Mackay, someone the players felt strongly was proving a good leader, and the decision of the other businessmen to quit Scottish rugby."

When leaving on Monday, Mackay pointed out that a 19m loss in the financial year had been slashed to 1m in the present one.

Interview: Phil Anderton

Calder fears for Scottish rugby
11 Jan 05 |  Scottish

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