ON Tuesday (April 20) Barry Hearn announced that he would step aside as chairman of the Matchroom Sport group of companies. His son Eddie Hearn, the head of their boxing division, will become Matchroom’s new chairman. After nearly 40 years in the role Barry will now occupy an advisory role that concentrates on group strategy and global expansion as president of the group.
“It has been a huge honour to have worked with some of the greatest sports people on the planet across the last 40 years and enjoyed so many wonderful experiences across our spectrum of events in that time, from snooker’s glory days of the 1980s to record-breaking boxing shows and the incredible growth of professional darts, as we have created opportunities for thousands of sportsmen and women during that time,” Barry said. “Great challenges have been met, but none more so than the Covid pandemic. I have been determined to stay in charge until this disaster passed and now there is light at the end of the tunnel and I believe it is the right time to pass control of Matchroom to my son Eddie and the brilliant teams we have assembled across all our activities.
Eddie Hearn now assumes overall responsibility for the entire group. “Anyone that knows me is well aware of what Matchroom means to me and our family. It has a legacy that spans 40 years from a small office under a snooker hall in Romford to a global powerhouse of sports entertainment. My father has dedicated his life to the company and since I joined in 2004 I have done the same. Now a greater responsibility falls on my shoulders and I am very proud to continue his great work and lead the business and the incredible team that we have built at Matchroom. We have seen astounding growth in the last 10 years but we have only just begun. I look forward to continuously evolving and continuing the global growth of this astonishing family business,” he said.
The move happens at a fascinating time for the company. On the boxing side Hearn is in the midst of negotiating an undisputed heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, while also considering whether to renew what has been a longstanding deal with Sky Sports in the UK. It is another moment of change for the business.