LONDON Welsh's chief executive, Mike Stevens, has left the Oxford-based club just over a year after he was appointed.

Stevens, who lives in Abingdon, became the Greene King IPA Championship club's CEO on May 12 last year.

However, after being relegated back to English rugby's second tier from the Aviva Premiership with the lowest points total in top-flight history, Stevens has stepped down.

Stevens was tasked with developing the club's commercial and community presence in Oxfordshire.

He said: "When I arrived it was clear there were some significant challenges in developing the off-the-field activities at the club, including our commercial and community work, and I'm extremely proud and delighted of what has been achieved in this regard.

"I would like to note the fantastic support we have received from the rugby clubs and schools in Oxfordshire.

"I'm happy that I leave knowing together we have made a welcome contribution."

He added: “The time is right for me to move on.

"It's been a privilege to have played my part in the development of such a reputable and important rugby club brand.

"I wish the club, its supporters and partners, the very best for the future - I firmly believe there are exciting times ahead.”

Kelvin Bryon, the Exiles' owner and vice-chairman, said the club, who play at Oxford's Kassam Stadium, would begin searching for Stevens' replacement shortly.

He added: "It is disappointing that we have agreed to let Mike go.

"Mike has made a tremendous contribution during his time with us, no less in developing our commercial activities and our excellent community work.

"He leaves behind a talented team of people who with Mike, have made an important contribution to the club, and in doing so helped to lay the foundations for an exciting future.

"The details of which we hope to make an announcement about as soon as possible."