December 8, 2021

Taylor set to step down as PFA chief executive

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Gordon Taylor is set to resign from his position as chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association at the end of the season.

In March 2019, the 75-year-old signalled his intention to leave the role which he has held for almost 40 years.

Renowned as Britain’s highest-paid union boss, earning more than £20m over the past 14 years, the former Bolton and Birmingham winger was due to leave his post following an independent review into the workings of the PFA had concluded.

It was agreed Taylor would stay on in his position until 2021 for a successor to be found after the process was delayed until July this year due to a change of the review chairman.

It’s understood a letter will go out to members on Wednesday, before Thursday’s annual general meeting.

Taylor told Sky Sports News in October: “Everybody at the PFA has co-operated as swiftly as possible to the same extent that we have communicated with all our members, the FA, the Premier League, EFL and LMA.

“The original chair of the review, Tom Linden QC, had to step down during the review as he was appointed a judge and a new appointment had to be made.

“I am doing my job looking after the PFA and our current and former members during this trying and testing time.

“We are the oldest and strongest footballers and sporting union in the whole world and aim to keep it that way, up to all challenges and a PFA for Football for Life.”

Former York City, Walsall and Port Vale defender Ben Purkiss was elected PFA chairman in 2017
Image: Former York City, Walsall and Port Vale defender Ben Purkiss was elected PFA chairman in 2017

Chairman Ben Purkiss and the PFA’s whole management committee were due to stand down once the review had been concluded.

Taylor had previously claimed Purkiss, 36, was no longer eligible to be chairman having become a non-contract player.

More than 300 players and former players are said to have endorsed an open letter calling on Taylor to step down prior to the review.

Shortly after the end of his playing career at Bury, Taylor replaced Derek Dougan as chairman of the PFA in November 1978, becoming chief executive three years later.

During his tenure, the PFA developed a support and welfare structure for footballers, including a 24-hour counselling helpline and residential support at the Sporting Chance clinic.

Taylor championed grants for members to help deal with mounting debts, pensions, mental health issues and re-education, as well as equality and diversity training.