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Premier League settles on Masters as permanent CEO

Image: Premier League

The English Premier League has today (Thursday) appointed Richard Masters as its chief executive on a permanent basis, bringing to an end a drawn-out saga to secure a successor to Richard Scudamore.

At a special meeting held today, Premier League clubs approved the appointment of Masters, previously managing director, with immediate effect. Masters has held the chief executive role on an interim basis as the Premier League and its head-hunters led their search.

Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea and the Premier League nominations committee, said: “Richard took on the role of interim chief executive a year ago.

“Since then, the clubs have seen Richard rise to the occasion, dealing with our various stakeholders and partners with aplomb and skill. As interim chief executive, he has faced challenges head-on and has proved himself. The clubs believe that this is the right appointment now in the long-term interests of the Premier League.”

Masters’ appointment comes after David Pemsel, the Premier League’s incoming chief executive, was last month forced to resign before starting the job, following newspaper disclosures about his private life.

He was the third person to be offered the job after former Discovery executive Susanna Dinnage went back on a decision to accept it and Tim Davie, a senior executive with UK public-service broadcaster BBC, also turned it down.

Scudamore left his position as head of the top division of English club football at the end of 2018.

The former Guardian Media Group chief executive was announced as the successor to Scudamore in early October after a long recruitment search. He was the third person to be offered the job after former Discovery executive Susanna Dinnage went back on a decision to accept it and Tim Davie, a senior executive with UK public-service broadcaster BBC, also turned it down.

The troubled recruitment process has been managed by the Premier League’s nominations committee led by Buck with help from Leicester City chief executive Susan Whelan and Burnley chairman Mike Garlick. In June, the committee hired management consulting firm Russell Reynolds to replace rival Spencer Stuart owing to the problems with the search.

Masters joined the Premier League as director of sales and marketing in 2006 and was promoted to managing director in July 2015. Prior to joining the Premier League, Masters was commercial director at the English Football League and before that he worked for the England and Wales Cricket Board (from 1994 to 2000).

Commenting on his appointment, Masters said: “I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to lead the Premier League in what will be one of the most exciting stages of its development.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the clubs and our partners and other stakeholders over the past year. This is one of the most incredible jobs in the world of sport and I now look forward to leading the League in the many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

The Premier League nominations committee will now look to appoint a non-executive chair in the new year.