CARLISLE, England - Boardroom takeovers, supporter unrest and financial turmoil are the usual reasons for the chairmen of football clubs to release the reins of power.
But this is not so in the case of Michael Knighton, who was considering his future at third division English club Carlisle United Tuesday because of revelations of a close encounter with extraterrestrials.
A local newspaper published comments made by Knighton when he spoke, apparently off-the-record, at a meeting of UFO enthusiasts, about his contact with aliens 20 years ago.
"A bright dot became a triangle and shot down from the sky at an incredible rate," Knighton reportedly told members of the Aetherius Society. "It changed to a huge metallic disc the size of half a football pitch. We watched it perform the most unbelievable aerobatics in silence. It was amazing."
The 45-year-old millionaire, who witnessed the 30-minute display with his wife and two men walking their dog, is also said to have claimed that the men from outer space spoke to him telepathically.
Knighton felt publicly humiliated when the story appeared in print Saturday under the headline "Knighton: Aliens Spoke To Me" and, despite an unreserved apology and articles of support from the newspaper, decided to quit the club.
However, there still remains a possibility that Knighton will stay on as chairman and appoint a new chief executive. "Perhaps it has been an overreaction on my part but I did feel betrayed," he said.
Original file name: .CNI - Quits Soccer Over UFO
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