Leicestershire news October 17, 2010

Leicestershire's board of directors agrees to resign

ESPNcricinfo staff

Leicestershire's board of directors has agreed to step down en masse at the next annual general meeting, to be held in mid-Feb 2011, as a compromise between the board and a group of members who had petitioned for special meeting in November. The board of directors would have faced a vote of no-confidence at that meeting which won't be required now as a result of their decision.

In a statement on the club's website, the petitioners said that "in view of the Board's willingness to compromise, the cancellation of the special general meeting is in the best interests of the club, and will allow the club to move forward."

Last month county members Anna Stead and Stewart Walker submitted a petition with 165 signatures, over 10% of the county's membership of about 1,400, calling for a special general meeting (five per cent of the total membership is needed to call such a meeting) at which they proposed three actions, according to This is Leicestershire.

The first was to hear evidence from former chief executive David Smith about his departure in June. The second was to have a vote of no-confidence in then chairman Neil Davidson and the board. The third, which would have been necessary if the no-confidence vote was upheld, was to elect an interim board to manage the club until the next annual meeting.

The petitioners have urged all interested members to submit their nominations by November 30. They have also pledged to support whomsoever is elected at the annual general meeting next year but will continue to press for changes to the club's constitution, which they say does not appear to protect the interests of its members. The directors can choose to stand for re-election at the annual meeting.

The truce between the board and petitioners is the culmination of a tumultuous few months for Leicestershire. The club lose its chief executive (Smith), chairman of cricket (Neil Davidson) and senior coach (Tim Boon). Paul Haywood has been appointed the new chairman of cricket, while Mike Siddall, who has been acting chief executive since Smith's departure, had his position made official.

The trouble began when Smith and Davidson fell out over selection issues, and Smith resigned. Leicestershire captain, Matthew Hoggard, and Boon, then demanded the immediate removal Davidson in a letter, which had the support of all Leicestershire players, the ground staff and most of the club's administrative staff.

Hoggard and Boon alleged that Davidson had interfered in cricket matters at the club and intimidated staff and made the club unattractive to new players. Davidson stood firm at first, but was eventually forced to go when Hoggard refused to withdraw the letter against him.