Hoffman to quit Premier League chair as clubs protest Saudi deal for Newcastle United

November 17 – Gary Hoffman is to resign as chairman of the English Premier League following a backlash from clubs relating to Newcastle United’s takeover by a Saudi Arabian-led consortium.

Hoffman was only appointed in April 2020 but reports say he close to finalising his exit after coming under pressure to quit in the last few weeks.

Hoffman’s departure follows weeks of unrest about the decision to allow the £305m purchase of Newcastle, with other top-flight clubs insisting they should have been kept more closely informed about the deal which many believe should have been blocked because of the Saudi regime’s poor human rights record.

Clubs complained to the Premier League in October after it cleared the deal, with frustration over how the buyers passed the owners’ and directors’ test. The complaints were swiftly rejected on account of confidentiality obligations during discussions with the consortium.

Amnesty International has since called for the ownership test to be changed and it seems Hoffman ended up taking the brunt of the blame over the green light being given to the takeover.

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