Premier League chooses Leaver

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The Independent Online
Peter Leaver, a leading barrister, was yesterday named by the Premier League as its new chief executive. The 52-year-old deputy High Court judge and former Tottenham Hotspur director replaces Rick Parry, who has held the post since the League's launch in 1992 but will now join Liverpool in a similar capacity when his contract expires in June.

"I am lucky that Rick Parry will still be around to guide me, said Leaver, who starts work officially on 3 April. "As a passionate, lifelong football fan I have looked in from the outside and have certain ideas of what things could be changed.

"But I've learned from my experience at the bar that it is not sensible to try and do so until you completely understand all the issues involved. In other words, I start with an open mind on everything."

Leaver will become one of the game's most important behind-the-scenes figures, with the Premier League facing major discussions over television coverage and the imminent arrival of pay-per-view, and also over the future of club football in Europe. His salary will be pounds 200,000 per year.

Arsenal have revealed that an exploratory operation on David Seaman's injured knee has been successful, but that the England goalkeeper will not return to action for at least a month. The 33-year-old entered hospital for an arthroscopic probe in which a miniature camera revealed a small tear in the cartilage, which has now been removed. He damaged the knee in a freak accident at home three weeks ago.

Police have decided not to take any action following the mass brawl between Chesterfield and Plymouth Argyle players in a Second Division fixture on Saturday. Four players were sent off by the referee, Richard Poulain, after Plymouth's goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbelaar, was concussed at a corner. The police have decided to leave the matter in the hands of the Football Association.

Wigan Athletic want to take Manchester United's Northern Ireland international centre-half, Pat McGibbon, on loan with a view to a permanent deal. Chesterfield have agreed a pounds 30,000 fee for the Huddersfield Town striker Iain Dunn, while their FA Cup quarter-final opponents, Wrexham, have offered pounds 100,000 for the Aston Villa forward Neil Davis.

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