The Premier League is set to continue to focus its search for a new chief executive on the broadcast industry, despite the U-turn of Discovery’s Susanna Dinnage and the BBC’s Tim Davie ruling himself out of contention.
The Guardian is reporting that a new shortlist of candidates to replace Richard Scudamore has been produced, containing the names of Darren Childs, chief executive of UKTV, and Richard Halton, who recently left his role as chief executive of hybrid TV service YouView.
It is believed that the league is targeting a quick transition once the right candidate is selected. Halton is available to start immediately, while Childs is expected to depart UKTV in the near future once the company’s owners, the BBC and Discovery, have completed its break up.
Dawn Airey, who has served as the chief executive of both Getty Images and the UK’s Channel 5, has been mentioned in connection with the role by industry sources, though it is unclear whether her name is on the Premier League’s current list of targets. Gavin Patterson, 51, the chief executive of BT who steps down at the end of the month, has been encouraged to put his name forward by some Premier League clubs, but is not believed to be in the running.
The Premier League has previously stated that it is braced for the search for a new boss to take until the end of this year. In what is already a highly-scrutinised role, the new chief executive will come under even closer media scrutiny having not been first – or even second – choice for the role.
Additionally, the new chief executive will have to deal with the slowing of the broadcast boom that marked the Scudamore era – with the tech giants such as Facebook and Amazon yet to fully commit themselves to sports broadcasting – and navigate the fallout of Britain’s withdrawal for the EU and its effects on the footballing landscape.