Newcastle fans 'paying tribute' to Saudi owners says reporter
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Premier League chair Gary Hoffman has stood down from his position as fury continues to pour in over Newcastle’s controversial Saudi-led takeover. Clubs are said to be livid that the deal was approved, leading to his departure after less than 18 months in the job.
The Premier League confirmed that the decision had been taken for Hoffman to stand down on Wednesday, although his formal departure will not take place until January.
By and large, the move derives from Newcastle’s controversial takeover, led by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Hoffman became the focal point for clubs’ anger, with complaints over the fact that they were not properly consulted over the decision.
An unofficial vote of confidence was held by Premier League chairmen last week, unbeknownst to Hoffman, and more than half voted for his dismissal.
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“It has been a privilege to lead the Premier League through the last two seasons – when the spirit of English football has been more important than ever,” said Hoffman.
“Now, I have decided the time is right for me to stand aside to allow new leadership to steer the league through its next exciting phase.”
Hoffman had a chaotic but short tenure, which overlapped with Project Big Picture, the COVID-19 pandemic and the European Super League breakaway plans.
As a result, many clubs were already calling for his head, but the straw that broke the camel’s back came when news of Newcastle’s takeover was reportedly distributed by email, after the media had published reports of their own.
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It is not all doom and gloom for the Premier League hierarchy, with chief executive Richard Masters allegedly retaining the confidence of many around the division.
Meanwhile, the Premier League issued its own statement in response to Hoffman’s resignation.
“He has led the league during the most challenging period in its history and leaves it in a stronger position than ever,” it read.
“The process of appointing a new chair will begin immediately.”
Newcastle are preparing for the January transfer window – the first opportunity to splash their newfound riches, to the resentment of others.
Over the next three years, FFP regulations permit them to spend a whopping £200million once early commercial deals are accounted for.
Co-owner Amanda Staveley has so far been the mouthpiece for the club’s lofty ambitions, with Premier League glory the ultimate goal.
“We’re really excited about strengthening the squad, but we have to work within Financial Fair Play and make sure this is done over a longer term,” she told Sky Sports.
“But you can know and be reassured that we want to invest at every level. We want to get the best squad we possibly can.”
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