Gordon Taylor to leave role as PFA chief executive after 38 years

Gordon Taylor has confirmed that he will leave his role as chief executive of the PFA after 38 years, after an independent internal review by the Charity Commission.

However, no time frame has been placed on the 74-year-old’s departure, after agreeing that Taylor would only leave the trade union for professional footballers in England and Wales once he had overseen a “controlled transition period” with his successor.

Ben Purkiss, the PFA’s chairman, who led the power-struggle against Taylor and was heavily backed by the management committee as the organisation descended into crisis, will also leave as part of a bid for a clean slate and cannot be considered for the role of chief executive for five years. 

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Taylor, 74, who earned £2.29million last year, 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.”

Former professional Purkiss encouraged the PFA to undergo a full independent review (Getty)

The entire management committee, consisting of Steph Houghton, Jonathan Walters, Asmir Begovic, Tom Heaton, Lee Grant, Matthew Bloomfield, John Mousinho, Peter Vincenti, Andrew Butler, Matthew Sadler, Andy Taylor and Peter Clarke, will all follow Taylor and Purkiss out the door.

“Last year I stated that the PFA needs to evolve otherwise there is a risk we get left behind,” Purkiss said. ”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.”

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