Bernstein stands down at City

The Manchester City FC board have "reluctantly" accepted chairman David Bernstein's offer to resign.

The Manchester City FC board have accepted chairman David Bernstein's resignation after it was tendered today.

Lifelong fan
Bernstein, a lifelong City fan who had been at the helm of the Premiership club for five years, said his decision was prompted by the board pulling in different directions. "I [have] emphasised three factors required to fulfil the chairman's role effectively - unity, stability and professionalism," he said. "Until recently, my board, major shareholders and key employees have successfully worked together to achieve these.

'Divergence of views'
"Over the last few months, there has been a divergence of views on fundamental strategic issues particularly concerning finance and management structure. I believe this has inhibited my ability to direct the club in the way I would wish. It is with regret that I have today tendered my resignation as chairman. I emphasise that this decision is entirely my own."

'Neither sort nor welcomed'
The club's managing director, Chris Bird, tendered his resignation last week and that was also accepted at today's emergency board meeting. A club statement said: “Both resignations have been accepted reluctantly - in the case of the chairman the resignation takes effect immediately, whilst in the case of Chris Bird this takes effect at a date yet to be agreed. These resignations have neither been sought nor welcomed by the board."

Big-money moves
Bernstein was preaching caution at a time when the English game's finances are looking precarious, while Bird wanted to allow manager Kevin Keegan to continue big-money transfers. City, eleventh in the Premiership, bought Robbie Fowler and David Sommeil for a combined fee of €14m during the transfer window.