The Premier League has announced that it has drafted in the head of its legal advisory group, Peter McCormick, to stand in as a temporary director after league chairman Anthony Fry was taken seriously ill.
McCormick is senior partner of McCormicks Solicitors in Harrogate and has been brought in to facilitate board decisions on match days in Fry’s absence, after a unanimous vote of the 20 clubs playing at the top of the English football league system.
The high-level appointment is a significant endorsement of McCormick, a highly-rated sports lawyer who The Legal 500 describes as an ‘able advocate and a fearsome opponent’, adding that his ‘vast experience has allowed him to gain the ear of The Premier League.’
There are only two directors on the Premier League board.
A statement from the Premier League said: The clubs have today agreed that during this time, starting with this weekend’s fixtures, to support and enable the continuing effective operation of the League, Peter McCormick will be appointed as a director of the Premier League.
‘This is a temporary measure in order to give Anthony whatever time he needs to recover before resuming his duties. Hopefully this will be very soon.’
McCormick said: My thoughts and those of everyone at the Premier League are with Anthony Fry and his family. We wish him a speedy and full recovery.
‘I’m very proud and feel privileged to have had the trust and confidence of a unanimous vote of the 20 clubs placed in me.’
McCormick has been a member of the legal advisory group to the Premier League since 1996 and was appointed as its chairman in 2008.
He is also a trustee of the Football Foundation, the UK’s largest sports charity, and chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, a company funded by the Premier League which makes grants to football clubs to improve facilities.
Fry, a 58-year-old investment banker, was appointed as chairman last year.