Former Swindon chairman Jeremy Wray has assured fans the npower League One club remains on course to complete their three-year plan despite his controversial departure.

Wray has opted not to accept a new role on the board and end his 18-month spell in charge after being replaced by Sir William Patey, former British ambassador to Afghanistan, at the request of the club's majority shareholder Andrew Black.

"The role of chairman is as important as the role of manager and so long as the relationship between the two remains the same and their relationship with the fans remains the same, then these changes should not be unsettling," Wray said.

Wray, who brought manager Paolo Di Canio to the then League Two club in May 2011 with the aim of lifting Swindon back to the Championship inside three years, said he hoped the Italian would stay at the County Ground.

"I have spoken to Sir William and he is a gentleman, an extremely able man and a thoroughly likeable guy. I have no doubts he will do a very good job as chairman. The decision certainly caught me off guard. I was told 10 days ago.

"Some people leave when it's going well, they get out at the top and some get sacked when things are going badly, but you don't often get chucked out when things are going well.

"There have been personal issues. Andrew Black has his reasons and I respect his decision as majority shareholder. He can put who he likes in charge and I just felt it wasn't appropriate for me to remain on the board."