Racing: Nichols era at helm of turf industry is at an end

Click to follow

Greg Nichols, the chief executive of the British Horseracing Board since 2002, is to vacate his post and will not put his name forward for a role in racing's restructured governing authority.

The Australian, who on his arrival was billed as a forward-thinking administrator who would take British racing to a new level, has instead been forced to spend much of his time fighting a rearguard action to defend the legacy of former BHB chairman Peter Savill.

Nichols said the satisfactory outcome to the inquiry launched by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) was one of the highs of his tenure. "People don't appreciate the ramifications. If they had got their clutches in we would have had a free for all [for fixtures]. It would have changed the sport irrevocably."

But he pointed to the European Court of Justice's ruling in favour of the bookmakers William Hill in the wrangle over payments for data rights as the low.