Knowles played a key role in Manchester's successful bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the association cited his growing responsibility in this area as "the key factor in his resignation." Knowles, a former referee, also played a key role in mediating in the public bust-up between Catton and the England senior men's coach, Laszlo Nemeth, who criticised the England programme just days before a European Championship game against Israel.
Knowles, although publicly diplomatic, despaired of Nemeth's criticism, which came in the week the association learned a pounds 1.8m Lottery bid had failed. Knowles said at the time: "None of this can have helped."
Nemeth was suspended, but reinstated after Catton resigned. Nemeth leads England into a friendly international tournament against Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands in Manchester this weekend.Reuse content