The Premier League has expanded at such a precipitous rate under Richard Scudamore’s leadership that most experts seem to agree that it will need to appoint more than one person to replace the outgoing chief executive.
“I’ve been saying for a long time that I don’t think they’ll replace Richard with like-for-like. I think the job’s become too big in its present structure,” says Phil Lines, former media advisor to the outgoing chief executive. “I think it’s too much to have one guy running everything – the whole of the commercial side of the business and rules, regulations and government relationship – and I think probably there’s a managerial job and then there’s a commercial job.”
Rick Parry, a former Liverpool chief executive and one of Sudamore predecessors, thinks the Premier League ought to take solace from the fact that neither he nor Scudamore came from business backgrounds that necessarily prepared them for a role at the league. Parry came from a career in management consultancy with no background in football. Scudamore, on the other hand, worked for the Thompson newspaper Group, before briefly working for the Football League between 1997 and 1999.
“If you look back at certainly where I came from and also where Richard came from, we were by no means necessarily obvious choices for the role at the time,” says Parry. “You wouldn’t have necessarily said we were the identikit that the Premier League was looking for and yet things have worked out tolerably.”
Part 1: Media rights sales
Part 2: Sponsorship
Part 4: Match attendances and the fan