The Premier League says its prospective new chief executive, Susanna Dinnage, has told the organisation she will not be taking up the position.
Dinnage was named as the replacement for the Richard Scudamore in November and was supposed to take up the role early in 2019.
“The committee has reconvened its search and is talking to candidates,” said a Premier League statement.
“There will be no further comment until an appointment is made.”
Dinnage was supposed to join from media organisation Discovery, where she was the global president of the Animal Planet channel.
However, she had reflected on the role in recent weeks and informed the Premier League that she had decided that she wanted to stay in broadcasting at Discovery.
She apparently had not given a precise start date as she had a long notice period to serve.
The Premier League is comfortable with acting chief executive Richard Masters and interim chair Claudia Arney continuing for longer as they resume their search.
Prior to joining Discovery in January 2009, Dinnage worked for 10 years at Channel Five and she started her career at MTV.
She would have become just the third person to lead the Premier League, after Scudamore and his predecessor Rick Parry.
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