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Premier League chairman Gary Hoffman on brink of RESIGNING over furious backlash to Newcastle’s Saudi takeover

PREMIER LEAGUE chairman Gary Hoffman is set to quit after losing the confidence of top flight clubs. Anger at former Barclays exec Hoffman has grown in recent weeks over the League green-lighting the £305million Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle. But that only added to long-term festering resentment of Hoffman, who has been in the role since […] ...

PREMIER LEAGUE chairman Gary Hoffman is set to quit after losing the confidence of top flight clubs.

Anger at former Barclays exec Hoffman has grown in recent weeks over the League green-lighting the £305million Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle.

The Times

Premier League chairman Gary Hoffman is on the brink of resigning following a furious backlash to Newcastle’s Saudi takeover[/caption]

But that only added to long-term festering resentment of Hoffman, who has been in the role since early in the pandemic.

SunSport revealed how one club chief stunned rivals last month by questioning if Hoffman and the rest of the board should quit over the Newcastle issue.

It was the first time in more than 20 years — since the forced dismissal of Peter Leaver — that clubs have even voiced the possibility of turfing out an executive.

Hoffman attempted to quell the revolt in a series of meetings and conversations with club bosses.

It appeared he had done enough as there were no discussions about his position during last week’s ‘shareholders’ meeting of the 20 clubs.

But behind the scenes, Hoffman became aware that the friction was not going to go away.

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The scale of the club fury was demonstrated when they ignored the Board and voted to form an eight-club committee to draft new financial rules.

That effectively sidelined Hoffman, accused by clubs at both ends of the financial power base of ‘a lack of leadership’.

Some clubs are also unimpressed by chief executive Richard Masters, although it is understood there is no current immediate threat to his position.

But Hoffman read the runes and has decided to go, probably before the end of the week, leaving another void at the top of the organisation.

SunSport revealed last month while the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United were seething over the Toon deal, the real anger came from mid-table clubs.

Everton’s Bill Kenwright was one of the chiefs who took part in a meeting held in London.

And Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Brighton and West Ham were also among the loudest voices demanding answers from the Prem board.

There has been widespread backlash after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund [PIF] completed the deal to buy the Magpies at the beginning of October.

That came from fans and from within the game.

The majority of opposition has centred around human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

And protesters were at St James’ Park ahead of the Toon’s first game after the takeover.

A van was spotted driving around the stadium with an image of Khashoggi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

And the message on the side of the vehicle simply read: “Murdered 2.10.18.”

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Police also launched a probe after Crystal Palace fans unfurled a huge protest banner which mentioned ‘beheading’, ‘murder’ and ‘persecution’.

Human rights organisation Amnesty international have stated the deal was an attempt to ‘sportswash Saudi Arabia’s appalling human rights record with the glamour of top-flight football’.

The PIF owns 80 per cent, with billionaire Reuben brothers and financier Amanda Staveley taking 10 per cent each.

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