The PFA has noted the press reports published last night relating to an issue it currently faces regarding the eligibility of Ben Purkiss.
This is a confidential matter which we were seeking to deal with in accordance with the agreed process for resolving disputes. However Mr Purkiss has declined so far to engage in that process. It is disappointing to see a confidential matter such as this has now found its way into the national media.
The PFA does not propose to deal with all the points raised in a public forum, but will do so privately. However we do feel obliged to correct the suggestion made by Mr Purkiss that he has not received “any explanation” as to why his membership has been questioned. As he and the rest of the PFA Management Committee are aware, Mr Purkiss is no longer a contracted professional footballer and therefore the Management Committee asked for legal advice to be obtained to clarify the position. We instructed two QC’s who provided advice that his status meant he was ineligible to be a member of the PFA and therefore ineligible to remain as the Chairman. Those opinions were provided to Mr Purkiss but he was not prepared to accept the advice. He was therefore fully aware of the “explanation as to why” and should not be suggesting otherwise.
Given that a dispute has arisen, this cannot be resolved by the Chief Executive, Gordon Taylor, or by the Management Committee. Mr Purkiss has been invited to engage in the agreed process in place to deal with disputes and it is hoped that we can now resolve this matter in accordance with that process.
We do not propose to make any further comment.