The PFA has been working with and supporting a group of young players at Notts County in raising allegations of bullying by some members of the coaching staff. Some of these allegations were also of a racist nature.
We take any bullying, intimidation and racist behaviour extremely seriously and work with the relevant bodies in football to do all we can to deal with such allegations thoroughly and ultimately seek to eradicate these problems. The swift resolution of the incident at Notts County underlines the benefit of having a robust process in place which everyone adheres to. We have undertaken a considerable amount of work with young players at clubs throughout the country to educate them on inappropriate conduct and to help them identify situations of harassment, bullying, intimidation and racist behaviour and we will continue to do so. It is this process which gives young players the confidence to report such incidents and we give them a commitment that we will support them throughout the process should the need arise. We have a duty of care towards the players and in this situation we made sure that they were given immediate assistance which included being accompanied and represented at every stage of the process by the PFA.
There is a proper process in place to deal with incidents of this nature and that process was followed by all concerned. Those members of the coaching staff took the decision to resign just before a disciplinary hearing and it is obviously not possible to prevent someone from resigning in these circumstances. However, the effect of their collective decision to resign was that the players were able to put this behind them and continue with their careers. Our first priority is protecting the players at all times and they were satisfied with the way in which the matter was dealt with.
Gordon Taylor OBE
PFA Chief Executive.