David Dein, one of the most powerful figures in European soccer, has quit as vice chairman of English Premier League club Arsenal because of "irreconcilable differences" with board colleagues over the recent purchase by American billionaire Stan Kroenke of an 11 percent interest in the club.
Dein is reported to have backed Kroenke's takeover of the club, while Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood said in an interview before the announcement of Dein's departure that he and three of the club's major shareholders had "no intention of selling to some stranger."
"We're here for Arsenal Football Club, not to make a few bob," Hill-Wood told The Guardian. "We would be horrified to see it go across the Atlantic."
Dein, who joined the Arsenal board in 1983, owns 14.5 percent of the club's shares. He has played an influential role in the affairs of the English Football Association and is chairman of the powerful G-14 group of Europe's biggest clubs. He was instrumental in bringing French manager Arsene Wenger to the North London club in October 1996 and his son, Darren, was the best man at Gunner star Thierry Henry's wedding.