The man credited with bringing Tour de France to Yorkshire has emerged as the third candidate to replace the incumbent Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore, who had retired in December.
The 54-year-old British businessman Sir Gary Verity has been the chief executive of tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire. Not a hard core broadcast professional, Sir Gary is a seasoned sports industry pro with experience of several high-profile positions. Besides playing a key role in setting up the Tour de Yorkshire, the Leeds United supporter has also been a director at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. He was knitted in 2015.
The league on earlier two attempts had emphasised on hard core media professionals for the Chief Executive’s office, but both the candidates had declined the offer.
The buck for now stops at Sir Gary after the first choice candidate Susanna Dinnage had declined the offer to stay at Discovery where she is the global president of the broadcaster’s Animal Planet brand.
BBC Studios chief executive Tim Davie too has declined the Premier League offer in favour of his present job.
Meanwhile, Premier League acting chief executive Richard Masters is serving in Scudmore’s position.
Scudamore, according to a daily Telegraph report, had earned almost £30million for the league during his two decades in charge. He had left a daunting legacy, having brokered record-breaking TV deals for the clubs, currently totalling £2.8 billion in global rights pay packets. The league has already raised £8.3billion alone for 2019 to 2022 and could go as high as£9billion, a 20 per cent uplift on the previous deal.
UKTV chief executive Darren Childs and ex-YouView boss Richard Halton have also been linked with the post. However, the Telegraph, referring to sources close to the recruitment process, has reported that they did not make the new shortlist.
The Premier League is also searching for a new chairman, who is likely to work on a part-time basis. Claudia Arney is currently filling the role of an interim basis.