Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)

Dinnage pulls out of Premier League chief executive role

December 30, 2018 - 1:29 pm

LONDON (AP) — The English Premier League's new chief executive has pulled out of the job before even taking up the position.

Broadcasting executive Susanna Dinnage has changed her mind about succeeding Richard Scudamore in running the world's richest soccer competition, despite being hired for the job in November, the league said in a statement on Sunday.

Dinnage was set to become the most powerful female executive in global sports after agreeing to leave her role as global president of Discovery's Animal Planet brand early next year to succeed Scudamore.

Dinnage has now decided to stay in broadcasting at Discovery, a person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the reasons for her not taking up the league job were not being publicly discussed.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who had helped lead the recruitment process, described Dinnage as "the outstanding choice" from a "very strong field" of candidates.

"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," the league said Sunday.

The league said the committee which chose Dinnage "has reconvened its search and is talking to candidates. There will be no further comment until an appointment is made."

When accepting the job in November, Dinnage said she was "excited at the prospect of taking on this fantastic role" and described the Premier League as "the pinnacle of professional sport." She said that "the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organization is a great privilege."

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.

Scudamore has run English football's top flight since 1999, but stepped down as executive chairman earlier this month.

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