November 21, 2018 / 3:07 PM / a month ago

Taylor recommends independent review of PFA

FILE PHOTO: Football - The FA England Awards - St Georges Park, Burton - 3/2/13 Then PFA Chairman Gordon Taylor during the awards Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Andrew Boyers/File Photo

(Reuters) - The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) will recommend a "full and open" review into the structure and operation of the players' union, chief executive Gordon Taylor said in an open letter here to members on Wednesday.

Taylor’s letter comes after PFA chairman Ben Purkiss last week sought a review saying the body, which represents players in England and Wales, needed to modernise, a move viewed as a challenge to the long-serving chief executive.

The 34-year-old Purkiss, a non-contract player with third-tier Walsall, is keen for the players’ union to take on a greater role in helping players with mental health issues.

“I am happy to defend our record – including on issues such as mental health, diversity and player welfare – but I am the first to admit that there are always areas we can improve,” Taylor, who has held his role for 37 years, wrote in the letter.

“We owe it to you, our members, to hold ourselves to the highest possible standards... I am adamant that criticism must not be swept under the carpet and instead addressed head on.

“We will be recommending to the PFA’s Board of Trustees and Management Committee that an independent QC conducts a full and open review into the structure and operation of the PFA as the trade union for professional footballers in England and Wales.”

Taylor did not give details of any other parameters nor the timeline of the review, saying that an update would follow.

“It is important that we are transparent, committed to constantly improving and restless in our mission to support you,” the 73-year-old Taylor added.

“I’ve dedicated the last 40 years of my life to professional football. I am proud of the work we do, supporting our members, whether that’s through training and coaching programmes, or promoting diversity and equality in the sport.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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