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BT has called off an emergency meeting with key shareholders tonight because it feels it is being press-ganged into making strategic decisions by the media.

The monster telco is up to its armpits in debt and appears to be at a loss to reverse the situation.

Tonight's dinner was billed as extremely important to the future of the company.

A shareholder who told Reuters that the meeting was off said: "They (BT) are concerned about the extent to which strategic matters for the company are being decided by the tabloid press."

There was intense speculation about a high-profile sacking or two to help ease shareholder concern about BT's plans to reduce its £30 billion debt.

It was widely reported that shareholders would call for the resignation of chairman, Sir Iain Vallance, and CEO, Sir Peter Bonfield.

However, if BT believes by ducking out it will be able to save face, it is mistaken. This move will be seen as a sign of weakness - that BT's senior executives bottled meeting with shareholders.

BT maintains this is something out of nothing.

Since it never confirmed that the meeting was due to take place, it couldn't comment on something that was not due to happen not going ahead.

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BT board in 'debt crisis talks'

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