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The English Premier League has announced the appointment of Anthony Fry as its new chairman, with the finance expert replacing Dave Richards in the role.

Richards has occupied the position since 1999, but is stepping down with Fry set to begin his new role on June 1. The League cited Fry’s “distinguished career”, principally in the financial sector where for a long period he specialised in the media industry, as the main reason behind the 57-year-old’s appointment. Fry has held numerous chairmanships and board positions across a range of business, public, charitable and academic bodies. He is chairman of dairy group Dairy Crest and a senior advisor to the board of investment bank Espirito Santo. His career in corporate finance has included banks such as Rothschild, BZW, Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers.

Fry is also currently chairman of the Finance Committee of the BBC Trust, a position from which he will be stepping down. His new position will see him liaise with the chairman and chief executives of the 20 Premier League clubs and also act as an ambassador for the League. Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who led the Premier League’s Nominations Committee, said: “There were a number of outstanding candidates, any of whom would have made a fine Premier League chairman, but in Anthony Fry we have appointed an individual with the correct blend of experience, skills, attitude and demeanour to represent the best interests of the Premier League. Anthony’s CV speaks for itself, but we were particularly impressed by his aptitude for and understanding of the role, as well as believing his style to be particularly well-suited to developing effective working relationships with both the member clubs and the Executive of the Premier League.”

Fry added: “I have a deep-seated and long-held passion for sport and believe the skills and attributes I have developed throughout all aspects of my career will serve both the Premier League clubs and the Executive extremely well. The League is one of the country’s great success stories of recent times having overseen a period of rising playing standards, substantial investment in infrastructure and development, significant growth in attendances and viewing figures as well as the marked commercial success that has benefitted the English game as a whole. The domestic profile and international standing of the Premier League demonstrates what a fantastic competition has developed over the past 21 seasons, driven by the investments of the clubs and the collective strength of the League. The Premier League and its member clubs have already achieved a great deal and are always striving to meet challenges and do better. That is something in which I want to play a part and I am looking forward immensely to helping the clubs and the Executive improve on what is already an incredibly successful competition and business.”

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