Hallett to quit for sake of Twickenham unity

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The Independent Online
Tony Hallett is today expected to announce his resignation as the acting chief executive of the Rugby Football Union. Sources at Twickenham close to Hallett said the former Royal Navy captain had given the matter a great deal of thought and he felt it was the right thing to do in order to maintain unity within the union.

Hallett's decision is not a major surprise. After Cliff Brittle was re- elected chairman of the RFU's new management board at last month's annual meeting in London it was felt Hallett, a former committee member of the game's governing body, would have little choice.

He and Brittle have been diametrically opposed since the latter's election as chairman of the now defunct executive committee at an SGM, the first of three in 14 months, in January 1996. The pair clashed over matters of policy, notably during the protracted, at times acrimonious, dispute between the senior clubs and Twickenham.

Even though peace broke out, Brittle and his supporters promptly backed calls for an investigation into the way the 1996 AGM was conducted, accusing of Hallett and the then president Bill Bishop of misleading delegates at the meeting over details of the BSkyB contract for televising all England's home games, including the highly valued Five Nations matches.

Hallett was appointed secretary in 1995, the post was changed to that of acting chief executive at the AGM in July, a job which was going to be reviewed at the end of October.

Brittle can now start with a clean sheet and run the game with his own men, including the Lions manager, Fran Cotton, who is in charge of the playing side at all levels.