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Dublin: 6°C Monday 19 April 2021

Jon Walters applies to be new CEO of English PFA

Walters says he wants to replace Gordon Taylor, who is ending his 40-year tenure at the end of the season.

Jon Walters.
Jon Walters.
Image: Joe Giddens

FORMER REPUBLIC OF Ireland international Jon Walters is applying to become the new Chief Executive of the English Players’ Football Association. 

Incumbent Gordon Taylor is stepping down at the end of this season, which will bring to an end a 40-year tenure in the role. Taylor’s annual salary has been a topic of controversy: he was paid more than £2 million in 2019 alone, and is reported to be the best-paid union boss in the world. His replacement is expected to earn substantially less.

“I’m very passionate about the PFA,” Walters told The Times. “I feel I am the right man for the PFA because players can relate to me. I’ve played in every league. I’ve captained clubs, I’ve captained my country, I’ve been involved on the management committee of the PFA. I like leading.”

His proposed manifesto includes more investment into dementia research programmes,  the assigning of a staff member to look after each player, to address number of players getting divorced or going bankrupt after retirement, and to provide assistance for the partner of a retiring player. 

Applications for the job close next Friday, 19 February, with interviews to be conducted by an independent panel in March. A shortlist of candidates will then go for a vote among the PFA’s 4,000 members, who will decide on the new CEO.

Walters made 54 appearances for Ireland, and made almost 600 club appearances which included nine-straight seasons in the Premier League with Stoke City and Burnley.

Ben Purkiss, the current PFA chairman who first called for an independent review of the organisation in November 2018, is also in the running.

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About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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