Foulds resigns but still director

Snooker

It was entirely typical that when snooker's convoluted internal bickering claimed another key figure yesterday, it led to a fresh argument. Geoff Foulds resigned as chairman of the game's governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Association, but ensured the civil war will continue by remaining a director.

There will now be an EGM in Birmingham on 11 April to consider a resolution to remove Foulds from the board. In the intervening period this week's British Open in Plymouth is likely to be played out to the sound of sniping from all sides.

In a statement, Foulds, who succeeded John Spencer in December 1996, said: "When I accepted the position of chairman it was a position I could only fill in the short term. Now that a new board has been elected I wish to inform the membership that I am standing down as chairman from today's date."

Foulds' decision to remain on the board was not greeted with universal enthusiasm and Ian Doyle, the manager of Stephen Hendry and 11 other leading players, gave an indication of the nine days to come. "He's making a big mistake," he said. "He should have resigned as a director as well.

"Perhaps he is hoping to win some kind of sympathy vote but I expect the result of the next vote to go massively against him. It's time for him to do the honourable thing. Maybe it's time for the present board to ask him to resign in advance to avoid another costly meeting."

Discontent with the governing body has simmered for many months since it was revealed that four major events - the Grand Prix, the UK Championships, International Open and the British Open - would take place this season without a sponsor.

In December, the WPBSA's annual meeting had to be adjourned in a state of chaos after four hours and when it reconvened last month an EGM immediately prior to it voted 30-9 in favour of a motion calling for Foulds' resignation as chairman and director. He refused to do so then but yesterday changed his mind.

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