Anthony Fry is to step down as chairman of the Premier League due to illness after taking up the job in June 2013.
At end of the 2012-13 season, Fry took over from Sir David Richards in the post—he had held the position since 1999—but was taken severely ill in March 2014 and has now decided to step down as a result.
His resignation will take effect immediately and Fry cited a need to scale back his work commitments as the reason for his decision, per the Premier League:
As is now well known, I suffered a stroke on 4 March this year. I have been very fortunate and I am delighted to be making significant progress with my recovery. On the advice of my doctors, however, I realise that I need to scale back my business activities. It is with regret, therefore, that I have decided to step down from my position as Chairman of the Premier League.
I would like to thank the Premier League for its understanding and support during what has been a very difficult time. I am sure it will continue to go from strength to strength as an impressive, professional and progressive body as well as a fantastic football competition
Fry will continue his work as chairman of dairy group Dairy Crest and as a board member of both CALA and Control Risks, but he expressed his belief that his role at the Premier League was too big for him to commit to.
After his stroke in March, the Premier League appointed the head of its legal advisory group, solicitor Peter McCormick, as a temporary director. It remains to be seen who will replace Fry in the long term as chairman of the organisation.
Bruce Buck, chairman of the Audit and Remuneration Committee of the Premier League, also weighed in on Fry's decision to step down as chairman, courtesy of the official release by the Premier League:
When the Clubs appointed Anthony as our Chairman, we knew we were getting a serious and robust figure with an impressive track record, and who cared about the game. It is a great shame that we were only just getting to see the full range of his capabilities when Anthony was taken ill.
It is absolutely right for Anthony to concentrate on making a full recovery. I am sure I speak for all the Premier League Clubs when I say that we respect that decision, and thank Anthony for all his efforts while in post.
The new Premier League season begins on Saturday, August 16, when 2013-14 champions Manchester City will kick off their campaign to retain the title against Newcastle United, while newly promoted Burnley, Leicester and QPR will all be in action also.
Thus, there is plenty of time yet to find an adequate replacement for Fry in the role of chairman just over a year after he replaced predecessor Richards.