Davidson quits Foxes
Neil Davidson has resigned as Leicestershire chairman with immediate effect after a stormy season at Grace Road.
Last Updated: 05/10/10 10:13pm
Neil Davidson has made a stinging attack on Leicestershire captain Matthew Hoggard after resigning as chairman of the county.
Davidson's position had appeared untenable earlier in the summer when he claimed Hoggard and coach Tim Boon had signed letters to the Foxes' board requesting his removal as chairman.
The pair were reportedly unhappy with a perceived interference into team affairs - something Davidson denies.
Chief executive David Smith also had his disagreements with Davidson and left Leicestershire in June.
Davidson has now followed him out of the door at Grace Road, blaming Hoggard - a marquee signing from Yorkshire in the close season - for destabilising the club.
Davidson claims he set the former England seamer a deadline to withdraw his name from the letter to the board and resigned when the 33-year-old failed to do so.
In a statement, Davidson wrote: "I find his actions difficult to understand, and I hope Matthew fully realises that his irresponsible behaviour has led to the chaos which has engulfed the club ever since.
"Indeed, had he not put his name to those letters in the first place - which, if he had thought it through properly, I believe he would not have done - then the current crisis at the club could have been avoided.
"It was totally wrong of the players to become involved in these matters
"On September 20th, I informed the LCCC Board that if Hoggard did not withdraw his name within 14 days, my position as chairman would be untenable and I would resign.
"No withdrawal has been forthcoming, and therefore I have today further informed the Board that I cannot continue in these circumstances."
Davidson went on to suggest the Foxes were on the brink of a debilitating financial problem caused by poor performance on and off the pitch.
He claimed: "Throughout this episode, my sole concern has been the club's financial position and the looming crisis which I could see developing from early June with membership and other revenues well below the budget written by former chief executive David Smith and compounded by the poor home performances in the Friends Provident t20."
Despite his prediction of trouble round the corner, Davidson declared himself pleased with his legacy at the county.
He added: "I am proud of my seven years' service as chairman and that Leicestershire is in the process of proving that even small counties can develop players for England with the right motivation and infrastructure.
"I intend to continue to make a contribution to the game."
Leicestershire released a statement later on Tuesday in which they stood by Hoggard.
"Following Neil Davidson's resignation as chairman today, he has issued a personal statement to the press," it read. "The board of Leicestershire CCC wishes to distance itself from the statement he has made.
"The off-field problems of the club can be traced back to the resignation of the former chief executive at the end of June and it is unfair to place any blame on the captain and players, who ended the season with some exceptional performances.
"Matthew Hoggard has had an excellent first season with the club, has taken 50 Championship wickets and has grown into the captaincy as the season progressed.
"Matthew is highly respected within the dressing room and he and all the players have the full support of the board.
"Whilst the board recognises the positive contribution Neil Davidson has made during his seven years as chairman, it now wishes to put recent events in the past and get on with the job of addressing the day-to-day running of the club."