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English Premier League gets first female head

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lison Brittain will leave her role at Whitbread in early 2023 and succeed interim Premier League chair Peter McCormick. PHOTO: EXPERIAN

The Premier League will be chaired by a woman for the first time when Alison Brittain takes over the role next year, the top-flight English football organisation said on Tuesday (July 26), after clubs unanimously voted in favour of her appointment.

Brittain, the outgoing chief executive of hospitality giant Whitbread, was recently named as the new chair of home furnishings retailer Dunelm.

She will leave her role at Whitbread in early 2023 and succeed interim Premier League chair Peter McCormick, who stepped in after Gary Hoffman resigned in the wake of an outcry from other clubs over Newcastle United’s takeover by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium.

“I have been a football fan since I was a child and so am absolutely delighted to be appointed chair of the Premier League,” Brittain said.

“It will be a real privilege to be able to help to develop plans for the future and work with all the key stakeholders in the game to ensure its long-term sustainability and success.”

Brittain previously held a number of senior roles in the British banking industry, serving as group director in the retail division of Lloyds Banking Group and as board director at Santander UK.

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The 57-year-old, who also spent nearly two decades at Barclays, has been on the advisory boards of the last three British prime ministers. She is currently the senior independent director at data credit firm Experian.

“Alison has had a positive impact on every organisation she has been a part of, so I am delighted she is joining the Premier League as chair,” chief executive Richard Masters said.

“She has a tremendous track record in business, gets things done with a down-to-earth style and is well respected and liked in all the industries she has worked.

“She also has a keen interest in the game and how it can develop further.”

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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