Premier League chairman Gary Hoffman resigns over Newcastle takeover reaction
Hoffman has left his position as chairman of the Premier League
The chairman of the Premier League, Gary Hoffman, has resigned from his role as chairman of the Premier League after facing criticism from top flight clubs over the handling of Newcastle's Saudi Arabia-backed takeover, the Athletic has confirmed.
Hoffman's appointment as Premier League chairman was announced in April of last year, and he took over from Interim Chair Claudia Arney two months later. It was reported last month that several clubs from within the league had pushed for his resignation after growing frustrated at the lack of communication from him in relation to the deal which saw a the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) purchase Newcastle from Mike Ashley.
Hoffman will officially leave his position at the end of January 2022 after spending just 18 months in the role.
In a statement, he said: "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."
The Premier League also added a statement which said: "The Premier League is grateful to Gary for his committed service. He has led the league during the most challenging period in its history and leaves it in a stronger position than ever."
The Newcastle takeover was finalised last month, with human rights groups including Amnesty International urging the Premier League to carefully consider the decision to sign off the deal given the close links to the Saudi state.
The Saudi PIF is the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund and is overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, yet the Premier League went on to approve the takeover having been given assurances there was no direct link to the state.
Within days, 18 Premier League clubs voted through legislation designed to prevent the Saudi owners from agreeing lucrative deals with Newcastle.
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- Crystal Palace fans unveil banner protesting Saudi ownership of Newcastle