Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been named as a surprise possible successor to Richard Scudamore as Premier League chairman.
Scudamore, 59, will stand down by the end of 2018 after 20 years at the helm and top-flight clubs have begun discussing who could replace him.
Although those discussions have been informal so far, Blair is the surprising name that has been banded about, according to The Mail, alongside some more obvious options.
Blair, who is a Newcastle United fan, spent ten years as Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007 and would be a controversial decision.
However, the clubs believe he has the charisma needed for the post, and would more than hold his own in heated discussions between the 20 clubs.
Other contenders include Barney Frances, the boss at Sky Sports, and former BT chief Gavin Patterson.
Whoever is appointed will have a tough job following Scudamore, who oversaw the huge TV deals that have pumped money into the league, and Bruce Buck, Chelsea chairman and head of the Premier League’s audit and remuneration committee, paid tribute to the 59-year-old when he announced he was stepping down.
“We expect to make an appropriate appointment in good time so there can be a seamless transition,” Buck said.
“I speak for all the clubs when I say we are very sorry that Richard will be leaving, but we could not have asked for anything more from him. For 20 years he has led the Premier League with distinction.
“Whilst probably best known for the outstanding growth he has delivered, most importantly he commands the respect of everyone in football for the dignified and positive way he has managed the complexities of keeping the league together and moving us forward.”