David Bernstein has resigned as chairman of Manchester City.

Speculation about Bernstein’s position had been rife since the resigniation of managing director Chris Bird last week.

There has also been talk of a rift with the cllub’s manager Kevin Keegan, with Bernstein criticised for his role in the deal that brought Robbie Fowler to Maine Road.

“Over the last few months, there has been a divergence of views on fundamental strategic issues, particularly concerning finance and management structure,” Bernstein declared

“I believe this has inhibited my ability to direct the club in the way I would wish,” he added.

“On my appointment in 1998, I emphasised three factors required to fulfil the chairman’s role effectively – unity,stability and professionalism.

“Until recently, my board, major shareholders and key employees have successfully worked together to achieve these,” Bernstein said.

Since arriving in 19998, Bernstein has overseen a dramatic change in the club’s fortunes, culminating in last summer’s return to the Premier League.

‘During my five years as chairman, the club has made outstanding progress.

“We have advanced from the depths of the second division to mid-table in the Premier League.

“We are only months away from moving into our new stadium and have developed an outstanding training ground.

“We have an excellent squad of players in which we have made considerable investment and an outstanding team of people employed atthe club.

“Manchester City is respected and stands on the brink of real achievement.”

“I would like to thank our wonderful fans for their backing. They have been fantastic in their support, which has never wavered even during the most difficult times.

“I have been touched by their kindness and enthusiasm.

“I have supported Manchester City since I was a boy and I am desperate for us to succeed.”