Gordon Taylor, executive director of the Professional Footballers Association, will step down at the end of the season – two years after the first announcement of his intention to do so.
The 75-year-old has held the role since 1981 and a letter was sent to members on Wednesday afternoon announcing his resignation.
At the time, he said that all of the organization’s administrative committee, including himself, would resign after the report was released at the annual general meeting.
The 2020 AGM will take place on Thursday, where members will vote on a new governance structure that will replace the outgoing management committee with a players’ body and an operational board overseeing the day-to-day running of the union.
« As I announced at our previous AGM, once the independent review process is complete, I will step down by the end of the current season, » wrote Taylor.
« The recruitment process recommended by the independent review will be used to elect a new director and we have made significant progress in that direction. I will of course be available in the future whenever necessary in support of the PFA. «
Taylor is credited with negotiating the PFA’s largest source of income – about £ 25 million a year from the Premier League.
But the PFA has recently been scrutinized in relation to dementia. This is a growing problem for former players and the subject of anger by some over an alleged lack of action and support from the PFA.
John Stiles – the son of former England international Nobby Stiles, who passed away in October – called for Taylor and his management team to resign on Wednesday.
The PFA last week announced their Neurodegenerative Disease (NDWG) Working Group to look at the likes of Dawn Astle – Jeff Astle’s daughter – and former Blackburn Rovers striker Chris Sutton, who has also criticized the union after his father, a former soccer player, was diagnosed with dementia.
Sutton told BBC Sport that he « has no plan to join the task force and does not want to be associated with the PFA in its current form ». .
The PFA also said it would continue to support Dr. Willie Stewart is funding research on the subject after the neuropathologist found last year that former soccer players are two to five times more likely to die from degenerative brain disease.
And on Friday, calls were made to reduce the heading in training to protect the current players while there is a possible link between heading and long-term brain injuries.
1986 – Helps set up the Community Football Initiative in six clubs before rolling it out to all 92 clubs in the Football League.
1989 – Agrees to join the Football League as executive director before reconsidering and sticking with the players’ union.
2001 – Secures £ 52. 2 million three-year deal with the Premier League for TV revenue after 99% of players endorsed a strike threat.
2008 – Recognized in Honor of the Queen’s Birthday and appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
2015 – Issues a public apology after comparing the Ched Evans rape case to the Hillsborough tragedy.
2017 – Dawn Astle, daughter of former West Brom and England striker Jeff, leaves a meeting with Taylor criticizing the PFA for failing to do research on dementia.
2018 – The PFA says it is « disappointing » that a dispute over the suitability of Ben Purkiss as chairman has become public.
2020 – In a letter to PFA members, Taylor says he will be stepping down at the end of the 2020-21 season.
Regarded as one of the finest administrators of football in the 1980s and 1990s, much of the PFA’s influence on modern play can be traced back to Taylor.
His greatest success story at PFA came in 2001 when he negotiated a contract with the Premier League for PFA’s share of television revenue.
England internationals like David Beckham and Gary Neville joined 99% of the PFA membership to authorize strike actions up to £ 52. Finally, 2 million. agreed (over three years), along with provisions relating to future business.
He has established community and youth training programs (now apprenticeships) in all 92 professional soccer clubs.
He also played a key role in founding the « Let’s Throw Racism Out of Football » initiative in 1993, which later became the « Kick It Out » organization.
More recently, Taylor has been pushing for football to adopt the « Rooney Rule » to increase the number of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) coaches in the game.
While April’s annual PFA Awards night went from a male-only dinner to an inclusive and dazzling bash, it was not without controversy.
Football agent Rachel Anderson sued the PFA after being denied admission in 1998 and received £ 7 in damages. 500 plus costs.
In 2013, Black American comedian Reginald D Hunter used an offensive racist term during his appearance at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair. Taylor said the performer may not have known language was an « emotional » subject in football.
At times, eyebrows also raised at the perceived lavish £ 1 spending. 9 million was spent on LS Lowry’s painting « Going to the Match ».
In 2013, national newspapers reported that Taylor had more than 100. £ 000 in gambling debt, and in 2015 he had to apologize publicly after comparing the Ched Evans rape case to the Hillsborough tragedy.
Around 300 high-profile past and current players endorsed an open letter urging Taylor to step down in a dispute with PFA chairman Purkiss in November 2018.
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