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Lamikiz quits as Bilbao president

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MADRID, Spain -- Athletic Bilbao president Fernando Lamikiz has resigned his post in the hope that his departure will spark an upturn in the club's fortunes.

Bilbao fans have been calling for Lamikiz's resignation since the end of last season when the club narrowly avoided relegation for the first time in their history.

He came under further pressure when he sacked Javier Clemente as coach in July and a poor start to the season in which the club has taken just two points from their first four games finally prompted his decision to throw in the towel.

"We have decided that I should resign and that the rest of the board should continue with their work for the good of Athletic," said Lamikiz.

"It appears that I might be the problem and therefore I've decided to go."

Fellow-director Ana Urkijo will take over from Lamikiz and become the club's first female president in its 108-year history.

Lamikiz took charge of the Basque club after winning the presidential election at the end of the 2003-2004 season when Bilbao finished in fifth place in the Primera Liga.

But the club, who adhere to a policy of only recruiting players with Basque heritage, has been on a downward slide ever since and none of the four coaches that have been at the helm during that time have been able to arrest the decline.


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Lamikiz has bowed to supporters' pressure and has quits his post as Bilbao president.

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