Football: Pearson to leave Premier League early

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THE PREMIER LEAGUE'S commercial director Stephen Pearson is not being allowed to serve out a three-month notice after previously tendering his resignation. Confirmation comes in the aftermath of the forced resignations of the league's chairman Sir John Quinton and its chief executive Peter Leaver.

Pearson, 33, is believed to be setting up a promotions company after being informed by the League that he will not be required to serve out his term. His No 2, Malcolm Crease, is also leaving his post.

Both men will be paid for the remainder of the contracts although they will not be returning to the London offices of the Premier League at any stage.

"The new management team has taken steps to safeguard the commercial arrangements of the Premier League," a Premier League spokesman, Mike Lee, said. "We are continuing to look at the activities of the outgoing commercial department. We have ensured that our commercial partners will not suffer as a result of recent events and we are acting decisively to protect the interests of the League and our sponsors."

Leaver and Quinton were both forced out of office on earlier this month after awarding contracts to two television consultants, Sam Chisholm and David Chance, without telling the Premier League's 20 chairmen.