New PFA Chief Executive Maheta Molango has today begun his first full week in the role.
Molango, the former CEO of Spanish football club RCD Mallorca, succeeds the PFA's Chief Executive of 40 years, Gordon Taylor OBE, who stepped down at the end of June.
Molango's playing career included spells in England with Brighton and Hove Albion, Lincoln City, Oldham Athletic, Wrexham and Grays Athletic, giving him a personal insight into challenges facing the membership at all levels of the game, and the importance of the players’ union.
However, it is Molango's career off the pitch as a labour lawyer that has given him a unique perspective on elite-level football.
Fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian and German, Molango started work at law firm Baker Mckenzie in 2007, passing the New York bar exam in 2011. He co-founded the firm's sports practice, advising players, clubs, agents and federations.
Molango negotiated Mesut Ozil's termination deal from Real Madrid ahead of his move to Arsenal and was twice recognised as one of the best sports lawyers in Spain by international rankings company Chambers and Partners.
In 2015, Molango returned to Atletico Madrid, the club where he began his journey as a player, where he served as legal counsel. During this period, he worked on over 30 deals, including the sale of Mario Mandzukic to Juventus, the transfer of Raul Jimenez to Benfica, Filipe Luis's return from Chelsea, Yannick Carrasco's move from Monaco and Antoine Griezmann's new first contract extension.
His legal work eventually led to his appointment as CEO of RCD Mallorca following a 20 million euro takeover by former NBA star Steve Nash, and Phoenix Suns' owner Robert Sarver.
Four years at RCD Mallorca saw him achieve back-to-back promotions from Segunda B to LaLiga, and the club went from losing eight million euros a year to turning a record 17 million euro profit.
In his most recent role before joining the PFA, he was co-director of FIFA's club management program, helping train executives alongside speakers ranging from Arsene Wenger to Peter Moore, distinguished participants such as World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro and former PFA members Philippe Senderos and Carlos Bocanegra.
In an introductory letter to members, the new PFA Chief Executive set out his intention to take a player-centric approach to his leadership of the union, and a commitment to listening and engaging with all levels of the membership.
In an email to members, Molango said: "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.
"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.
"Going forward, I will be continuing to attend games and training grounds across the Premier League, EFL and WSL to meet members, hear your views and get your input.
"I want members to have greater opportunities for input into the work of the PFA. I am personally committed to making sure your voices are heard and represented.
"I’m looking forward to working with you all."