The Premier League has been forced to go back to the drawing board in its search for a new chief executive after Susanna Dinnage’s sudden withdrawal from the role.
The TV executive was announced as the successor to Richard Scudamore less than two months ago, with the plan that she would take up her new role early in 2019.
But a Premier League statement on Sunday evening read: “Despite her commitment to the Premier League in early November, Susanna Dinnage has now advised the nominations committee that she will not be taking up the position of chief executive.”
Her only previous involvement in sport was when she ran Discovery’s British and Irish operation, which included responsibility for Eurosport.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, Burnley chairman Mike Garlick and Leicester chief executive Susan Whelan led the recruitment process, with Buck describing Dinnage as “the outstanding choice” from a “very strong field” of candidates.
Dinnage said at the time: “I am excited at the prospect of taking on this fantastic role. The Premier League means so much to so many people.
“It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organisation is a great privilege. With the support of clubs and the team, I look forward to extending the success of the League for many years to come.”
Dinnage’s TV experience was seen as a key asset in the current era of blockbuster rights’ deals and a diverging market. She began her career at MTV and also worked for Channel Five.
The Premier League has interim measures in place, but must now find a new candidate and added in its statement: “The committee has reconvened its search and is talking to candidates. There will be no further comment until an appointment is made.”
The organisation is also looking for a non-executive chairman, with Scudamore’s role having been split.