LEIGH Centurions' CEO has resigned after four years in the job.

Matthew Chantler has stepped down for "personal reasons" after returning from a holiday and meeting with club owner Derek Beaumont.

The board has praised Mr Chantler for his "hard work, passion and commitment" to the club and that he leaves it "in a far better position than when he joined it".

He said: "It has been an incredible honour and privilege to have been the CEO of my hometown club for the last four years.

"It has certainly been a rollercoaster journey with, unfortunately, some exceptional challenges with relegation from Super League, not making the top four in 2018 and successfully defending the recent employment tribunal claims.

"I will never forget the incredible journey and elation of being promoted to Super League and the celebrations at the home game against Batley with 10,000 Leigh fans in attendance. Super League certainly gave me many memories and I'll never forget the away trip and incredible Leigh fan following to Catalans, beating Saints at home in front of over 9,000 spectators, taking 3,000 fans to the away game at Wigan and beating Wigan at home on that memorable night.

"It was a great shame that after all of the hard work and incredible support from the town that we were unable to retain our Super League status by the narrowest of margins and in such a cruel manner.

"However, off the field, it was a great achievement to reach the then recently introduced minimum standards in Super League, which several Super League clubs with many years of enhanced distributions failed to do, and to prove that the club could be self-sustainable at Super League level generating a small profit.

"To that end, I would like again to thank all of the staff and volunteers who helped the club achieve that feat and the fans and business community who proved that Leigh are a Super League club and were worthy of our place in Super League with a fan following that is an envy to many clubs.

"I would also like to thank all of the staff, volunteers and business community who have supported and helped me and the club over my time and who continue to do so.

"Also, to all of the players and staff who put the club before themselves when sadly we had to part ways in very difficult circumstances.

"Finally, I would implore the public and business community to support the club over the next two seasons which I believe will be the most vital in the club's recent history.

"It is imperative that the club regains its Super League status while the opportunity remains and I wish John, all of the staff and players the very best in that endeavour.

"After having put the club as number one priority for the last four years, it is now time that I put my family first and return to watching the games from the North Stand."

In the short term former head coach Neil Jukes, who is also an operational manager at AB Sundecks, will take on the dual role as general manager of the club while a restructuring review is undertaken.

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Derek Beaumont

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Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont said: "Matthew has worked with me on a daily basis.

"We have experienced many highs and lows and I have developed a relationship with him during that time.

"His legal skill sets have been particularly useful to the club during his tenure and he has worked very hard, successfully reducing costs in many areas of the business.

"He has represented the club to a high standard and made many friends in the rugby league world.

"I would like to pay particular respect to him for the arduous task he endured in dealing with player terminations when we were relegated from Super League, something that was very difficult for all concerned but was dealt with impeccably, which was evident with the outcome of the resulting claims recently ruled upon by the employment tribunal.

"Furthermore, the even more difficult situation the club faced when it was unable to make the playoffs and faced uncertainty with contractual liabilities, far in excess of its possible income.

"Matthew endured a lot of criticism, along with myself and the board but worked tirelessly to steer the club through to a position where we had no liabilities and were able to start over, providing the platform for where we currently are.

"I know that these situations took their toll on Matthew, as they did on all of us and it was a test of his character to continue.

"Considering when I convinced him to change tact from sports law to become CEO, we have done well, given what had to be endured, to have seen him stay for the four years.

"I know it was important to him to stay on until the outcome of the player claims and I thank him for doing so.

"Running a sporting club is a difficult role with limited resources, and where the bounce of a ball or the blowing of a whistle can have a large impact on the business.

"There is also a lot of uncertainty with little stability, when the very existence of the business of any real significance depends on a history of benefactors.

"The game itself also faces uncertainty on its future funding and given everything in a nutshell, with Matthew's personal circumstances, I can understand the decision he has reached.

"He goes with mine and the board's best wishes and he will always be welcome at the club and in my company's box."