Following reports from various UK outlets such as the Guardian and the Daily Mail, incoming Premier League CEO David Pemsel has resigned.
The 51-year-old, who has previously worked at ITV and Shine TV, was set to begin his new role in early 2020.
But recent allegations claim that Pemsel had been in contact with a woman in her 20’s, with the conversations supposedly anything but business related.
The League went through a tumultuous time in their bid to find a successor to Richard Scudamore, who had been CEO prior to the turn of the new millennium.
Scudamore had been the backbone of the League for nearly 20 years, doing a fantastic job to keep everything in order.
He is a founding member of the Football Foundation, the UK’s largest sport charity which uses funds from the League and the FA to help the less fortunate realise their dreams (developing football pitches, funding community clubs etc).
When he retired, the League had the tough and almost unenviable task of replacing him. It’s comparable to Manchester United and Arsenal’s attempts to replace Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, respectively.
It’s no mean feat and unfortunately for those in power, they chose the wrong man for the job.
However, with Pemsel out of the picture, now is an opportune time to rewrite those wrongs and hire someone who they can bank on.
They not only need to hire someone they can trust, they need to hire someone and make a statement that they will no longer tolerate the mistreatment of women in the media.
Pemsel is not an outlier when it comes to this and the League need to buck the trend.
Hiring a woman for the job is the immediate thought that springs to mind, but they shouldn’t limit themselves to that.
If they can find someone who has a firm grasp of what can and can’t be said or done to women in the media, then they are on the right track to regaining some faith from the public.
The League has come under fire for this debacle and it’s not hard to see why. But while people won’t forget Pemsel and his legacy as CEO, if they can take a stand and get back on the right path, then this is definitely repairable damage.
The League should also look to Scudamore and his legacy as CEO. He never took a backwards step and helped build the Premier League into the most respected top flight in European football.
He was responsible for the punishments handed down to Ashley Cole, Jose Mourinho and the Chelsea Football Club following Cole’s controversial transfer from fierce London rivals Arsenal.
He was also a part of the ‘Game 39’ proposal that immediately turned away fans. But he noticed this and quickly shut it down, knowing just how little the fans were on board with the idea.
They need to reflect on the lasting impact Scudamore left and realise the duty they have to not do him a disservice again.
Interim CEO Richard Masters is set to continue in the role until the screening process is concluded.