Wardle takes permanent post at Manchester City

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The Independent Football

John Wardle has changed his mind and accepted a long-term role as the chairman of Manchester City.

Wardle, who took the job on a temporary basis following the departure of David Bernstein at the beginning of March, had said he had no desire to stay in the role, even though there was support for the move among City's supporters.

Despite providing financial backing along with his fellow JD Sports founder, David Makin, Wardle has never shown any desire to become involved in the glad-handing which accompanies the duties of chairman, and last month said the search for Bernstein's successor would get underway this summer, adding: "The chairman's role doesn't suit me".

However, Wardle recently relinquished his executive directorship at JD Sports and, after a post-season discussion with City's board, he has decided to stay on, with Brian Bodek confirmed as his deputy and Alistair Mackintosh as the managing director.

The news will be welcomed by the manager Kevin Keegan, who was looking for a sign the club shared his vision. Last week Wardle said he would provide Keegan with the means necessary to end the club's 27-year trophy drought.

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