Proposal for the future of the PFA

Proposals for the future of the PFA

Members of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) have today agreed a continuity plan that will provide the organisation with stability through its upcoming independent review process.

In February, Sport Resolutions was formally instructed to begin a review of the governance, management, and policies, procedures and operations of the PFA. The review will be led by Thomas Linden QC.

This afternoon at its AGM in Manchester, the Management Committee of the PFA set out proposals which will ensure smooth management of the organisation throughout the period of the review. These proposals have been approved by members.

  • Members of the Management Committee have met four times since December and worked hard to agree on the best way forward for the organisation.
  • This informal mediation process has been successful and resulted in an agreed plan for the way forward.
  • The Management Committee will oversee the review and will consider and publish the key findings and recommendations which the review delivers.
  • The Management Committee has unanimously agreed that all members of the Management Committee and the PFA CEO will remain in place throughout this period to provide stability and continuity of leadership.
  • A small Steering Group has been established who will meet on a regular basis to act as the point of contact for Sport Resolutions throughout the review.
  • Following the conclusion of the review, a formal independent recruitment process will start for a new CEO of the PFA.
  • Once that recruitment process has concluded, the current CEO, Chairman and Management Committee will all step down at the AGM following the end of that process.
  • This process will include a controlled transition period to the new CEO, ensuring stability and sufficient continuity to protect the organisation.
  • The current CEO, Chairman and members of the Management Committee will not be considered for the new CEO role within the PFA at this point or for a further period of 5 years.
  • The recommendations from the review, if approved, will be implemented within the new leadership structure.

Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive of the PFA said:

“The end of 2018 was an extremely difficult period for the hardworking, excellent staff of the PFA. Many of the attacks levelled at our organisation and its leadership through the media were both unfounded and unfair.

“It is true that, at times last year, members of the Management Committee did not see eye-to-eye on a number of issues but, following a series of meetings over the last few months, we are now united on the best way forward for the organisation.

“Today, members of the PFA have agreed that I should remain as Chief Executive throughout the period of the review to provide the necessary stability for our organisation and members.

“Following the review and the appointment of a new CEO, the current Chairman and Management Committee have agreed it is right for them to step down as well.

“I have given the majority of my life to the advancement of the PFA and I hope I have provided a platform for our continued success in the future.

“Every decision I have made has been in the interest of members and I believe the review will make the PFA – the oldest and most powerful sporting union in the world – even stronger. It will ensure we have the right structures in place to support our former, current and future members.

“It goes without saying that I am extremely proud of the work and input that the PFA has had on the development of the greatest game in the world, and I will continue to fight for the organisation, its members and our role in the game – both in this country and worldwide.”

Ben Purkiss, Chairman of the PFA said:

“Last year I stated that the PFA needs to evolve otherwise there is a risk we get left behind. As Chairman of the PFA, I said publicly that we needed to review the governance of the organisation, and I welcome the fact that an independent review will now take place.

“While I am an advocate for change, it was never my intention to be critical of the organisation. There is so much about the PFA of which we can rightly be proud, and I want to acknowledge the staff at the PFA who work tirelessly to support members across so many different areas.

“To ensure a smooth transition to new leadership at the conclusion of the review, it is important that the current Management Committee remains in place. This continuity of leadership will enable us to oversee the consideration and implementation of any recommendations Sport Resolutions make, and provide the stability needed to continue delivering for our members.

“I am grateful for all the support we’ve received as an organisation.”