Premier League name Richard Masters as permanent chief executive

Premier League name Richard Masters as permanent chief executive, two weeks after David Pemsel quit days before starting over ‘bombarding a female former colleague with texts’

  • Richard Masters had been acting as interim chief executive of Premier League
  • He has now been handed the role permanently after clubs backed the decision 
  • David Pemsel resigned over inappropriate text messages sent to an ex-colleague
  • The search for a new chief executive has been going on for almost 18 months

The Premier League will be hoping it is fourth time lucky having appointed Richard Masters as permanent chief executive after he ‘proved himself’ in the interim role.

Following a tortuous year of candidates either backing out of the role, resigning or taking themselves out of the running, the announcement yesterday that they had turned to former managing director Masters did not come as a surprise.

Indeed, several top-flight clubs are understood to have felt that Masters – who has been at the Premier League since 2006 and interim CEO for a year – was a safe pair of hands to take on one of the most powerful jobs in sport. 

Richard Masters has been named permanent chief executive of the Premier League

The news comes after David Pemsel resigned at the end of last month before starting the role

Despite not being picked out as Richard Scudamore’s successor initially, his handling of the recruitment problems and issues such as racism in football has earned him the support of the clubs.

And with negotiations for the new broadcast deal starting in a matter of months, there was little desire to enter into another external recruitment drive.

Masters was approved by the clubs at a special meeting yesterday, and has taken up the position with immediate effect.

He 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.’

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who chairs the nominations committee, had faced pressure to fill the role after a saga that lasted 18 months and used two major recruitment firms. 

Pemsel quit after text messages between him and a former colleague in her 20s emerged 

Claims concerning text messages allegedly sent by Pemsel to the woman were made

Last December, Animal Planet president Susanna Dinnage decided not to take up the role just weeks before she was due to start, BBC executive Tim Davie then ruled himself out and last month David Pemsel resigned following allegations about messages he sent to a former colleague.

Of appointing Masters, Buck 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.’

Before joining the Premier League, where his roles have included director of sales and marketing and managing director, Masters worked at the EFL and the ECB.

The Premier League are hoping to appoint a non-executive Chair in the new year.

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