Tony Blair tipped for soccer’s top post

LONDON. — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is the intriguing name that was mentioned as a possible next chairman of the Premier Soccer League during informal discussions at the last clubs’ meeting.

Football has never seemed one of Blair’s great passions despite his claims to be a Newcastle fan. And even that was subject to ridicule when it was misreported that he had claimed to have watched Jackie Milburn at St James’ Park while sitting in the Gallowgate End. Blair was four and living in Australia when Milburn left the club — and the Gallowgate was all standing at the time.

Yet Blair, who left office in 2007 after 10 years as Prime Minister, certainly has enough charisma and natural authority to keep order among the 20 top-flight clubs.

Other names being floated for chairman or chief executive are former BT chief Gavin Patterson and Sky Sports boss Barney Francis.

But it is considered unlikely that the nominations panel, led by Chelsea’s Bruce Buck, would want to risk alienating other rights holders.

Meanwhile, in his leaving statement Ivan Gazidis all but confirmed that Arsenal have finalised their kit supply deal with adidas, who will be replacing Puma next season.

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