Leighton Duley, the man entrusted with charting local rugby's future course, dropped a bombshell when he resigned from his position on the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union's board of directors after his peers had 'watered down' proposals set to counter player imports and player poaching in the First Division. 'I'm not happy with what they are suggesting and I have decided to stand down,' said Duley, who on Wednesday night sent his letter of resignation to the HKRFU. 'There is a significant divergence from what I originally proposed and what has now been presented to the clubs.' Duley, the director of clubs, was last November given the onerous task of drawing up a blueprint to control player imports and poaching. Both are thorny issues which the HKRFU felt got out of hand last season, and to such an extent that it was holding back the development of local Chinese players. In April, Duley went public with his plan, which included the contentious move to limit First Division and Second Division clubs to playing no more than three non-IRB eligible players (the IRB eligibility requirement is three years residency). Apparently these proposals have been watered down. 'It is as thin as cabbage soup,' said Duley yesterday. 'What they have done is to look after the gweilo who comes off the plane. No one even talked about the local Chinese player.' The HKRFU yesterday revealed the final guidelines - a five-year plan - would only be ready in a couple of weeks' time. But the union insisted that most of Duley's original proposals had been incorporated. 'I don't know why he has resigned. I have got his letter but it does not give a reason,' said Allan Payne, HKRFU executive director. 'As for our five-year plan, I can't really comment on that as we are still working on it.' However, Duley insisted the new proposals would continue to benefit the SAR's super-clubs - Hong Kong Football Club and Valley - at the expense of the rest. 'Nothing will be changed. The status quo which I was supposed to change will remain. The Union is trying to be seen as if they are doing something. But in reality they are not doing anything. The rich clubs will get richer while the poor get poorer,' he said. Valley spokesman Grant Beuzeval conceded the 'discussion paper' presented by the HKRFU to the clubs was different to that originally proposed by Duley. 'It is not even close to what Duley presented,' Beuzeval said. Aberdeen chairman Richard Cooke said he was saddened to hear Duley had stepped down. 'He was one voice on the directorate who seemed to understand the issues. It is a very sad day for Hong Kong rugby when someone like Leighton has to take such steps. The HKRFU should be trying to encourage teams such as Causeway Bay to play in the First Division. This is the long-term approach. Teams like Football Club and Valley don't care a whiff about development. All they want to do is to win the league.' HKRFU chairman John Molloy was unavailable for comment yesterday. Payne, however, said the new guidelines would address all issues. But Duley, 43, said the twin controversies of player importation and player poaching, which he had hoped could be dealt with once and for all, were likely to continue. Last season Valley 'imported' a number of professionals while Football Club attracted a number of players from other clubs. 'Some people argue there are no 'professional' players in town. But I know differently. My experiences are different from theirs. I have played my whole career in this town with Kowloon and DeA and I have resurrected these two clubs from player bankruptcy. I know first hand how hard it is for them to survive.' He said it had been frustrating trying to change people's outlook. 'After seven months of discussion, I found out that one director did not even know how many clubs there were in the First Division,' said an exasperated Duley.