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League One

Wray to step down

15 October 2012

Departing Swindon chairman Jeremy Wray has admitted his disappointment at being unable to complete the club's three-year plan alongside manager Paolo Di Canio.

Wray, who was instrumental in the capture of the Italian, has rejected the club's offer to remain on the board after being replaced by Sir William Patey, former British ambassador to Afghanistan.

Wray said in a club statement: "Having met Sir William, I am confident he will bring great value to the board of STFC, but, after much reflection, I have concluded that it would be inappropriate to accept the offer to remain on the board and as such intend to terminate my engagement with the club."

He added: "When I agreed to take over as chairman it was on the understanding that the board would confirm the appointment of Paolo Di Canio as manager and would commit to a three-year plan to support him, his management staff and players in the attempt to achieve promotion back to the Championship.

"I am proud to have overseen significant progress towards this goal and privileged to have stewarded the club through one of the most exciting periods in its history.

"Given my commitment over the last 18 months, I am obviously sorry not to see the project through to completion, but am confident that the club is in excellent shape to achieve back-to-back promotions."

Wray oversaw a resurgence during his reign - from relegation in 2011 to the npower League Two title the following year.

Di Canio recently hit out at the club's current transfer embargo imposed by the Football League after exceeding their set wage and fee limit, but the Italian remains full of praise for the departing Wray.

"The chairman is the best chairman a manager can have," he told BBC Sport. We have achieved what we have achieved thanks to the way he supported me in the beginning when there was some friction with the players.

"The way he handled the situation showed he is the best chairman you can have. The result is thanks to him and then Paolo Di Canio, the technical staff and then the main actors, the players."

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