November 30, 2021

Taylor to step down as PFA chief executive

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Gordon Taylor will resign from his position as chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) 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 once 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.

A letter was sent out to members on Wednesday, before Thursday’s annual general meeting, outlining the structural changes to the PFA, including the introduction of a players’ board and an operational board, replacing the management committee.

Taylor said: “As I announced at our previous AGM, now that the Independent Review process has completed, I too will step down, by the end of the current season.

“A new chief executive will be elected following the recruitment procedure recommended by the Independent Review, and we have already made substantial progress in that direction. I will of course be available in the future whenever needed to support the PFA.”

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 is also stepping down as PFA chairman

As also set out at the start of the review, the PFA have confirmed that Ben Purkiss will also be stepping down from his role as chairman.

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.