English Premier League, if reports are right, is heading to be headed by a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is being reported as the successor to Richard Scudamore, who has stepped down as Premier League Chairman in June.
The subject of 65-year-old Blair’s appointment was informally discussed at the last meeting of the Premier League clubs, state various reports in the British media.
Former BT chief Gavin Patterson and Sky Sports boss Barney Francis are among the other names recommend during the last meeting to replace the man at the helm of English top flight league.
The clubs, The Mail has reported, believe that Blair has the charisma needed for the post, and would more than hold his own. Blair’s case was given more weightage during the heated discussions between the 20 clubs.
Blair, who is a Newcastle United fan, has been the United Kingdom Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007 and would be a controversial appointment given his divisive public persona in the UK.
Since resigning as Prime Minister, Blair has found success in the private sector as an envoy for various NGOs and foreign governments, mostly working in the oil and mining sectors, through his advisory firm Tony Blair Associates.
Premier League had confirmed in June this year that Scudamore will step down as the Premier League Chairman by the end of 2018 after nearly 20 years at the helm. The 58-year-old was appointed in November 1999 and since then has played a key role in driving its growth both in the UK and globally.
The announcement came on the same day that e-commerce giant Amazon picked up one of the Premier League’s two remaining domestic rights packages, becoming the first non-traditional broadcaster to secure coverage of the competition.
The league’s domestic rights, worth approximately £670 million when Scudamore was appointed, have now reached a staggering value of£5.14 billion.
Speaking about his decision to relinquish his position, Scudamore had cited a desire to spend more time with his family and watch more of his childhood club Bristol City. “It’s an absolute privilege to have been allowed to enjoy this role for so long, it is too much fun to be called a job,” he had said.
“Football is an intoxicating environment and therefore difficult to give up being so involved, but my passion for what football means to so many and the positive impact it can make will never diminish.”
“The Premier League is in great shape and the future is bright, of course there are still many things to improve and constant challenges, but that is what makes it so exhilarating
“The clubs put on the greatest show; fans, such an essential part of that show, love it both here and around the world. Because it so compelling, the league’s success will continue under new and re-invigorated leadership.”