The Professional Footballers’ Association is ‘not fit for purpose’ under Gordon Taylor and MUST be reformed to reflect the needs of modern footballers, according to Clarke Carlisle.
The former PFA chairman, who has battled with depression and mental health issues since his retirement as a player, told talkSPORT the union’s resources are not directed to modern issues, and it is still being run by ‘people of the previous era’ in the sport.
It has been confirmed that Taylor will step down from his role as PFA chief executive, a position he has held for 38 years, after an independent review into the union has been completed.
The 74-year-old announced in November 2018 there would be a review into the organisation following criticism, including from current chairman Ben Purkiss, over his running of the union, where its funding goes and his reported £2.2million salary.
A PFA statement on Wednesday explained “a formal independent recruitment process will start for a new CEO of the PFA” after that review is concluded.
Carlisle joined talkSPORT ahead of the announcement on Wednesday, and he said the time is right to finally make a change and reform the PFA for the modern age of football.
“The guys who run the PFA are still of the previous era,” he told talkSPORT host Jim White.
“Gordon Taylor has done a wonderful job that he’s been recompensed for fantastically.
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“But the union itself in the modern era needs to reflect transparency, the organisational structure has to be fit for purpose and all of its resources need to go into the needs of its members and not the needs of the community.
“You talk about what the PFA does in the modern era, I believe that it’s way off the mark. It’s nowhere near being fit for purpose.
“Where it puts the majority of its funds does not commensurate with where the need is for the funds.
“Yes they did put research into head injuries, but what they put in was less than eight per cent of the chief exec’s salary. That can’t be right!
“The Mental health support systems they’ve put in, is it commensurate with the need? I can tell you from working at the forefront of it that it’s nowhere near fit for purpose.
“The BAME issue, talking about equality, anti-discrimination and inclusion, yes they were there at the inception of Kick It Out, but let’s talk about were the issue is NOW and what the union does NOW, and it’s nowhere near where it should be for an organisation of such resources.
“Representation internally has been fantastic – with Garth Crooks, Bobby Barnes, Chris Powell, Brendon Batson – but is that exactly what football news and what the players need? No!
“We’re talking about issues going on within academies where players feel like they’re being bullied and are not being supported, so is the focus and are the targets there? No they are not, and they need to be.”
Listen back to Clarke Carlisle and his views on the PFA above