West Ham have confirmed former chairman Terence Brown has resigned as a non-executive director of the crisis-hit Premiership club.
And the move comes with Premier League chiefs predicting an imminent end to their investigation into the transfer of Argentina World Cup stars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, from Brazilian club Corinthians in August.
All Premiership clubs have been contacted in a probe to discover whether the controversial signings breach rule U18 which forbids any outside agency having contractual control of a player.
When the South American pair joined West Ham - Mascherano has subsequently been given permission to sign for Liverpool - they are believed to have been part owned by the Media Sports Investment company, whose Kai Joorabchian conducted transfer negotiations with Brown and West Ham's former managing director Paul Aldridge.
New chairman Eggert Magnusson, who fronted an Icelandic consortium which paid £85m to take over the club in November, is alleged to be considering legal action against Brown and Aldridge should West Ham be deducted league points for playing illegal players.
A Premier League spokesman said: "You can expect a resolution of our investigation any time now."
Magnusson argues he should not be punished for another regime's mistakes. And he has a precedent on his side from 1991 when Tottenham's then chairman Sir Alan Sugar successfully fought the penalty of deducted points because an offence of illegal payments discovered by a Football Association investigation occurred under a previous administration.
Brown was first appointed to the board in1990 and became chairman two years later, staying at the helm until the Icelandic group's takeover.