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‘We had to make a change’ – Gary Neville welcomes new PFA appointments designed to help change the face of English football

Although Gary Neville has made his name as a wonderfully engaging pundit on Sky Sports since finishing his playing career, his business acumen has helped ensure that his many interests remain successful too.

It was therefore something of a foregone conclusion that when the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) were looking for a replacement for Gordon Taylor, they would seek the former Manchester United right-back’s counsel.

Taylor has held the chief executive’s position since 1981, but there has long been the argument that he has looked after himself before his members, allegedly paying himself an extortionate salary whilst making token payments elsewhere, per The Guardian.

Neville is heading a selection panel that will make the four key independent non-executive director appointments that will be Taylor’s replacement.

“In recommending these appointments, [we] were determined to introduce new thinking and innovation to the organisation and to football more generally,” Neville is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

“We are confident that we have done that and that this group will support, challenge and assist the PFA in the best way possible.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been in a position to influence the outcome of governance in key positions in English football. We had to make a change.

“I want independence, I want transparency, and I want football to change and come out of this rut it is in.

“However, it would be very unhelpful for me to say that review should or shouldn’t be published. I am an outsider. It isn’t in my gift.

“The four new directors and whoever the new chief executive is haven’t had the chance to read the review yet. It’s their job to decide.

“But I have faith the four directors we’ve selected will do the right thing.”

It’s a situation that has long since needed addressing, and one can only hope that the way the PFA look to do business post 2020/21 is far more conducive to looking after its members that that which has gone before.

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