Snooker: Williams resigns as chairman

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The Independent Online
REX WILLIAMS resigned as chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association yesterday as snooker's civil war claimed its most prominent victim.

Williams took over the chairmanship of the game's governing body for a second time in March 1997, but his period in office was dogged by two years of political in-fighting that was due to come to a head next Monday, when a motion to remove him was to have been heard.

Williams blamed personal attacks from his opponents for the surprise decision. Ray Reardon has taken over until a permanent successor is found. Lord Archer, the WPBSA president, announced he would be recommending Mark Gay to take over as legal advisor and that the accountants, Deloitte & Touche, should conduct an independent audit into the association's affairs.

Steve Davis led calls for Williams' exit after the chairman had forced through the sacking of Peter Middleton, the chairman of the Football League, who served just nine weeks as WPBSA chief executive.

Bob Close, a staunch boardroom supporter of Williams, also confirmed he had resigned as a director of the association. Martyn Blake, who resigned as WPBSA company secretary in July only to be reappointed when Middleton was dismissed, was another casualty. Director Jim McMahon, refused to confirm that he would also resign.

The EGM will still take place with Davis, Dennis Taylor and Jason Ferguson facing motions to remove them from the board. But, with Williams having resigned, they seem certain to remain.

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