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Sir Dave Richards to step down

The colourful reign of Sir Dave Richards, one of the most powerful men in English and world football since the start of the Premier League, will finish at the end of this season, ESPN can reveal.

Richards, who is currently the vice-chairman of the Football Association; chairman of the International Committee and an Executive Board member; and president of the European Professional Football Leagues body, will stand down in his role at the Premier League at the age of 68.

"I have been chairman for 15 years, since the first day the Premier League started," he told ESPN. "And there are not too many people in football can say they've seen as many changes as I have done!"

Instrumental in turning the Premier League (and also more recently the European Leagues) into such major forces within the game, he is still the driving force behind introducing Financial Fair Play into the Premier League in the form of capping clubs' spending on the footballing side of their business - effectively capping players' and managers' salaries within an annual budget.

Filling his sizable shoes is going to be one of the biggest talking points this season with precious few candidates qualified for such an important 'diplomatic' figurehead role.

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