Gary Hoffman to step down as Premier League chairman following Newcastle takeover backlash – reports

Gary Hoffman is reportedly set to step down as Premier League chairman following the backlash over the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United.

A consortium backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) completed its takeover of Newcastle in October. The deal was approved after the consortium proved that the club would not be controlled by the Saudi state.

However, the takeover was criticised due to Saudi Arabia’s poor record on human rights.

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Clubs also complained to the Premier League over how the deal passed the owners’ and directors’ test, and were reportedly frustrated about only being informed that it would be finalised late in the process.

Hoffman has only been in the role for 18 months following the departure of Richard Scudamore in 2018.

Sky Sports are reporting that Hoffman is “on the brink of resigning” over the backlash he has received from the takeover.

Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley has said new manager Eddie Howe will have money to spend in the new year.

“We are preparing for the January transfer window. It’s not a window we would ordinarily want to invest in, because you probably don’t get the right deals, but that’s something that is important at the moment.

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“It would have been an easy decision for us not to buy the club, just to wait until post-Christmas and post the January window and see where the club was in the league, and then make the acquisition.

“That would have been the safe investment bet, but we didn’t do that, we decided if we didn’t do it now it wasn’t going to happen and we had to take that risk. We took that risk because the club was sitting in 19th position at the time and Eddie took the job knowing there was that risk.”

Newcastle are second from bottom in the Premier League with five points from 11 matches and they are yet to win a game.

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