Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore announced Thursday that he will resign by the end of 2018.
In his nearly 20 years with the Premier League, Scudamore has seen the league become a global behemoth, with nine-figure revenues, burgeoning international and domestic television contracts and unparalleled growth.
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“It’s an absolute privilege to have been allowed to enjoy this role for so long, it is too much fun to be called a job,” Scudamore said in a statement. “Football is an intoxicating environment and therefore difficult to give up being so involved, but my passion for what football means to so many and the positive impact it can make will never diminish.
“This past 20 years would not have been possible without the continuing support and encouragement of the clubs and the unstinting efforts of my colleagues at the Premier League, whose professionalism and dedication are only surpassed by their decency and sense of fun.”
Following a short spell as CEO of the Football League (which came after a four-year stint managing newspapers in the U.S.), Scudamore was hired as Premier League CEO in 1999. In 2014 he was promoted and given the title of executive chairman.
Scudamore’s full statement is below:
“This past 20 years would not have been possible without the continuing support and encouragement of the Clubs and the unstinting efforts of my colleagues at the Premier League, whose professionalism and dedication are only surpassed by their decency and sense of fun.
“Likewise, the media legal team at DLA Piper have been with me all the way and must take much of the credit for any accomplishments.
“We could not have achieved so much without the enormous commitment of broadcast and commercial partners across the world. That number will run into hundreds, they have all contributed to our story and I would like to thank them enormously.
“However, I am sure they will forgive me for singling out Sky for special recognition. Back in 1992 they were the catalyst for the start of the Premier League journey and have backed us all the way since, joining forces to see off regulatory and other challenges throughout whilst setting global standards in broadcasting excellence that others have strived to replicate.
“The Premier League is in great shape and the future is bright, of course there are still many things to improve and constant challenges, but that is what makes it so exhilarating.
“The Clubs put on the greatest show; fans, such an essential part of that show, love it both here and around the world. Because it so compelling, the League’s success will continue under new and re-invigorated leadership.
“Finally, I could not have devoted the time and expended the energy needed for this role without the backing of my family and friends: so a special thanks to Catherine for her encouragement and flexibility and Jamie, Chloe, Paddy, Ned and Lara for their inspiration. Whilst I have no plans to retire, whatever I do next, I will carve out more time to support them in pursuit of their own passions … and to see more of Bristol City.”