Premier League chairman to resign after Newcastle takeover backlash

Gary Hoffman, who was appointed to the role only last year and has seen off threats from Project Big Picture and the European Super League, is expected to resign within the coming days.

The 61-year-old’s exit follows frustration from across the Premier League over the deal which saw a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) purchase a majority stake in Newcastle.

It is not thought that the position of Richard Masters, the Premier League’s chief executive, is under threat.

There was a feeling among other top-flight clubs that the takeover should have been blocked by the Premier League given Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

When the deal was confirmed, the Premier League said that they had received “legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club”.

Clubs moved against Newcastle last month, voting to pass legislation which prevents the new owners from agreeing sponsorship deals between the club and companies they have ties to.

Newcastle were the only club to vote against the legislation while Manchester City, who are owned by members of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, abstained.

Hoffman, formerly of Northern Rock, began his role with the Premier League in June 2020. The Premier League declined to comment.

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