Accrington Stanley chairman Ilyas Khan steps down

By Phil CartwrightBBC North West Sport
Ilyas Khan

Ilyas Khan has quit as Accrington Stanley chairman with immediate effect.

Khan, who helped to save Stanley in 2009, announced his decision at the club's AGM on Friday and will be replaced by president Peter Marsden.

"I cannot adequately express in words the feeling and passion I have for the club and the town," said Khan.

"I have been honoured to have been able to help. I am now simply pleased that I have fulfilled exactly those objectives that were set out three years ago."

Speaking to the club website, Khan added: "I wish the incoming directors every success."

Khan, who grew up in the Lancashire town, is back in England after working as an investment banker in Hong Kong for two decades.

He has invested more than £2m in the football club during the past 20 years, including a donation of around £250,000 to prevent Stanley from being wound up as a result of an unpaid tax bill three years ago.

Khan revealed to BBC Sport this week that he had been a victim of racial abuse and had been attacked with stones since he took control of the club in March 2011.

He also admitted that his ultimate ambition is to see Accrington play in the Premier League.

Accrington, 13th in League Two, host their final game of the 2011-12 season at the Crown Ground on Saturday when they take on promotion-chasing Crawley.