Craig Young has resigned as Dragons chairman over the Brett Finch character

Craig Young has resigned as chairman of St George Illawarra after admitting it was an “error of judgement” to write a reference letter for Brett Finch using official club branding.

The letter, written on Dragons letterhead and signed by the St George Illawarra chairman, was sent to the NSW District Court, where Finch awaits sentencing.

The NRL premiership winner pleaded guilty to one charge of using a carriage service to promote, disclose or promote child abuse.

Finch, 41, told the court he felt “disturbed” about sending a “twisted” message about child sex abuse in an attempt to get cocaine.

Mr Young admitted it was a mistake to use the club’s official letterhead and he believed stepping down was “in the best interests of the club”.

“I believe this is the appropriate course of action, given my personal decision to put a personal reference on official letterhead, for which I have already apologised,” he said.

“I regret my error in judgment in providing the reference on the letterhead at the request of the legal representatives.”

Mr Young was a key part of the St George’s side that won the premiership in 1977 and 1979 and was appointed as club chairman last November, succeeding Andrew Gordon.

He said he didn’t regret writing the reference for his family friend.

“I do not regret the decision to provide a character reference for a long-time family friend, for his character and behavior prior to a harmful addiction,” he said.

Mr Young will be replaced by Andrew Lancaster, chief executive of Wynn Corporation, in November as part of a joint venture agreement.


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