Premier League chairman to step down over club takeover backlash

Gary Hoffman to step down as Chairman of the Premier League.

Paige Rutter
6th December 2021
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Premier league chairman Gary Hoffman is to leave his position after only 18 months in the role amid Newcastle University takeover frustrations. 

This resignation arises from backlash from multiple Premier League clubs following the Saudi-Led takeover of Newcastle United. Other clubs expressed their frustration on how the deal passed the owners’ tests and the lack of informant on the takeover deal - meaning no action could be taken against it. It is known that many clubs found out about the takeover through email or even publishment in the media. 

Twitter: @BBCSport

This comes as Newcastle’s takeover comes with an array of human rights concerns and links to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

The government has recently backed a Fan-Led Review of Football Governance. This comes with multiple recommendations involving the financial stability of the game. One of the main points involves creating a new independent regulator of English football.  

Following this is the recommendation that the new regulator should create a new owners’ and directors’ tests. Although the Newcastle takeover has already gone through, Former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch insists the takeover would have been “stress-tested more” under IREF new tests – however – failed to say whether it would have been stopped.

Hoffman expressed in a statement on his departure that “It has been a privilege to lead the Premier League through the last two seasons”.

Going on further to state his decision to step down is to “allow new leadership to steer the League through its next exciting phase”. 

Hoffman took up the role in April 2020 during a time of suspended football following the pandemic. 

The takeover backlash isn’t the first issue that the 61-year-old had experienced with the proposed European Super League bringing in a wave of complaints. Hoffman was also caught up in a dispute over Project Big Picture - which planned to reduce the amount of Premier League clubs to eighteen.

The Premier League also followed up the statement sharing gratitude to Hoffman for his “committed service”. Expressing that the search for a new chairman would begin immediately as Hoffman is due to step down from the role in January 2022. 

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