Monday 19 April 2021 3:38 pm

Former BT boss Gavin Patterson approached over Super League top job

The former chief executive of BT is said to have been approached about heading up a controversial new football competition dubbed the European Super League (ESL).

Organisers made an informal overture to Gavin Patterson, who left the telecoms giant in 2019, over becoming the inaugural boss of the venture, Sky News reported.

His name is said to have been among several on a list drawn up by ESL stakeholders prior to the official unveiling of the project last night.

The football world was plunged into chaos following the announcement that six English football teams would join the new breakaway league.

The plans have been widely condemned by rival clubs, fans, football bodies including Uefa and Fifa and politicians including Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Patterson is thought to have been linked to the role due to his experience transforming BT into one of the Premier League’s key broadcast partners.

However, he now holds an executive role at Salesforce. It is not clear whether Patterson, who is a Liverpool fan, was interested in the role, nor who the other candidates for chief executive were.

England’s six biggest clubs — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham — are set to join the new venture, which has received roughly $6bn (£4.3bn) in backing from JP Morgan.

AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid are also set to be involved.

But the new venture, which is being launched as a rival to Uefa’s Champions League, could already be in jeopardy amid a backlash from football’s governing bodies.

In a strongly-worded statement Uefa warned that any participating clubs would be banned from playing in their home leagues, such as the Premier League.

Patterson’s former company BT today also came out in opposition to the plans, saying: “BT recognises the concerns raised by many of football’s leading voices and fans, and believes the formation of a European Super League could have a damaging effect to the long term health of football in this country.”

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