Derby chairman resigns in board row

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The Derby County chairman, John Sleightholme, has resigned after deeming his position "untenable" in the wake of a police probe into financial irregularities at the Championship club.

Though he is not personally implicated in the investigation, it was the last straw in his increasingly fractious relationship with fellow board members at Pride Park.

"It is with deep regret I resign as chairman and director of Derby with immediate effect," Sleightholme said. "My position has been made untenable. Recently it has come to my attention that without my knowledge meetings have been held, important decisions taken, and documents signed. These matters should have been raised at a board meeting or at or least referred to me as chairman. Important information has been withheld from me.

"At my last board meeting I asked for an independent investigation into allegations of payments directly or indirectly made to board members. This request was refused. I will continue to give assistance to help the bank effect an orderly change to new ownership."

Derby say they do not intend to appoint a replacement in the near future.

Sleightholme had been the front man for a takeover which saw the previous chairman, Lionel Pickering, ousted from the boardroom in October 2003.