Premier League chooses ITV lawyer for legal head

The FA Premier League has appointed Simon Johnson, the director of rights and business affairs at the ITV Network, as its first director of legal and business affairs.

Johnson has previously worked at Denton Hall (now Denton Wilde Sapte) and Central Television.

Chief executive of the FA Premier League Richard Scudamore said: “This is a appointment and reflects the ever-growing importance of legal and regulatory matters to a sporting body such as ours.”

The appointment also reflects the growing influence of commerce and particularly television on football. Scudamore also welcomed Johnson’s experience of the broadcasting industry in addition to his sports rights expertise.

Johnson will lead a legal team, which has one other lawyer, and will report directly to Scudamore. The league currently outsources most of its legal work to Johnson’s former firm Denton Wilde Sapte, which also advises ITV Network.

Johnson will start at the league in the summer. A spokesperson for ITV Network said the company will be looking for a replacement.