MARK Lawn is leaving Valley Parade with one major regret – that City were never successful under Stuart McCall.

The outgoing joint-chairman insists new German owners Stefan Rupp and Edin Rahic have been left a club on a very solid footing.

Lawn believes they must continue to back Phil Parkinson but admitted he would have loved to see his first manager McCall enjoy similar highs.

He also shot down stories that he had forced out the club legend from the City hot-seat.

As he reluctantly ends a nine-year reign, Lawn said: "One thing I regret is that Stuart couldn't do it because he's a good mate. Stuart and I are still good mates – he came to my wife's 'fake wake'.

"This rumour of me apparently hounding him out is rubbish. Anyone saying that is an idiot and should get their facts right. It's not true and you can ask Stuart. But people want to read things into stuff.

"Stuart absolutely loved this club and did fall on his own sword because he just knew that he'd tried his best. I always thought he'd do well elsewhere and he did at Motherwell.

"There was too much pressure on Stuart here. He was loved too much. He had nights of being unable to sleep because it's your club – I know exactly how he felt personally.

"He made mistakes here, which he learned from at Motherwell and was successful there. I knew he would make a good manager."

Lawn believes the working relationship between Parkinson, Julian Rhodes and himself has been crucial in the club's evolvement in recent seasons.

He denied that there had been any kind of fall-out with Rhodes over the takeover deal and feels both men can walk away with heads held high.

He said: "We wanted different things but that doesn't mean you fall out. We're grown adult men. I understand where Julian's coming from in his life.

"I've been there myself at that stage. I'm not at that stage now. I can quite understand why people want to do certain things.

"We turned a £3million deficit into a slight profit and that takes some doing. There was a lot of hard work from Julian and myself and the management team.

"It was a very sad day when I signed it over. Losing my football club was like losing my soul. It's going to be more frustrating as a fan because I won't be able to affect things.

"Whether I will be less reasonable, I don't know. But maybe I've got to learn the German for 'get your hands in your pockets'!"