Today, Maheta Molango starts his first full week as Chief Executive of the PFA, addressing members, he has committed to a player-centric approach to his leadership of the union. Focused on listening and engaging with all levels of the PFA membership, the former labour and sports lawyer, club CEO and FIFA programme co-director has a unique perspective on elite-level football and an unquestionable record of success. Find out more about his vision for the PFA...
As I start my first full week as the new Chief Executive of the PFA, the first thing I wanted to do was get in touch with you, the members, to introduce myself.
As a player in England, like you, I was a member of the PFA. The players' union supported me, and I saw its value first-hand. Having also played and worked in football in other countries as Chief Executive and lawyer, I've seen how well-regarded the PFA is and how widely it is recognised for the way it successfully represents players' interests.
The PFA has been central to a huge amount of positive and transformative change within football over the years – change that has benefitted members at every level of the game. This collective influence has been hard-won, and it is something we must strive to protect.
The impacts of the coronavirus have shown how important the PFA can be to defend your interests. The game - OUR game - is at a crossroads and the players should be at the centre of any discussion about the future of football.
I join the PFA at a time of change, both for the union and within the game more widely. I take over the role of Chief Executive from Gordon Taylor, who led the PFA for over 40 years. Gordon achieved an enormous amount on behalf of members, and he deserves our thanks and recognition for his work and his commitment.
I will be speaking more in the coming weeks about my priorities and how I want us, collectively, to move forward.
But leadership is also about listening. I have begun my time at the PFA by speaking to members, our internal teams and a wide range of people from across football. I've been hearing about the issues that matter to them - asking what role the PFA can play and where we can do more. Most importantly, I've been making clear my desire to ensure that we work together. I'm looking forward to continuing these conversations.
One principle will guide my leadership of our union, and it is this: the PFA belongs to the players. It should always be run on behalf of its members, for its members.
I know that the interests and needs of players are constantly changing. As your union, it is our responsibility to understand where, and how, we can best support you and represent you, whatever stage you are at in your career.
To do this, we need your involvement. I want members to have greater opportunities for input into the work of the PFA. Recent changes to our structure, I believe, will support this, and I am personally committed to making sure your voices are heard and represented.
Over the past few weeks, I've enjoyed getting out and seeing games - from the European Championships where the performances of our members have inspired their national teams across the tournament, right through to the National League play-off Final, from which we welcomed our newest group of current PFA members. Congratulations to both Sutton United and Hartlepool United. Going forward, I will be continuing to attend games and training grounds across the country to meet members, hear your views and get your input.
I’m looking forward to working with you all.
PFA Chief Executive.