Former St George Illawarra Dragons chairman Craig Young has revealed that it was his decision to stand down following a controversy.

Young, who was due to be replaced in the role under the club's top end structure - which is split between the St George and Illawarra factions of the club - stood down early after using a club letterhead to write a character reference for disgraced former star Brett Finch.

Finch, who pled guilty to sharing child sexual abuse material, was supported by Young by way of a character reference with Young and Finch being family friends.

“Your Honour," the letter, which surfaced on social media, read in part.

"I've known Brett Finch for the majority of his life… The Finch family are very decent and honest people and take great pride in their standing within the community and the examples they set."

There were some suggestions immediately afterwards that it was the club who pushed Young out, however, the former chairman and club legend told The Sydney Morning Herald that it was all his decision, having admitted it was an error to use the club letterhead in support of Finch.

“I quit ... it was purely my call,” Young told the publication.

“I didn't get forced out and I told you why. But I don't back away from my support [for Finch]. In fact, I'd do it all again tomorrow. You don't desert your mates. That's how I've lived my life and how I've brought up my kids. I have no problem with living like that.”

The Dragons have suffered an abysmal run in decent times and narrowly avoided a bottom-four finish in Anthony Griffin's second season as coach during 2022.

Griffin is now entering a contract year, and Young said he wanted Griffin to be judged on his on-field results, rather than off-field matters in another factors which made his decision.

“I didn't want to have an impact on anything Anthony was doing either,” Young said.

“He will be judged on the results he gets.”

WIN Chairman Andrew Lancaster has since taken over as the chairman at the joint venture club, who will kick-off 2023 with a bye, before playing the Gold Coast Titans, Brisbane Broncos, Cronulla Sharks and expansion club the Dolphins in their first four games of the new campaign.