Each week, InsiderSport is rounding up the signings and departures from the business of sport. This edition takes a closer look at some major movements in English football.
Taylor set for departure after 38 years
Chief Executive of the PFA, Gordon Taylor confirmed he would be leaving the role after 38 years.
First taking up the role in 1981, Taylor has helped the PFA become ingrained in the fabric of English football, having spearheaded lobbying for grants to members dealing with mounting debts, as well as campaigning for equality and diversity training.
Taylor’s departure will follow an extensive and open investigation into the finances and daily running of the PFA, after his £2.29m 2018 salary drew criticism from many in football.
Issuing a statement on the PFA website, Taylor stated: “The end of 2018 was an extremely difficult period for the hardworking, excellent staff of the PFA. Many of the attacks levelled at our organisation and its leadership through the media were both unfounded and unfair.
“It is true that, at times last year, members of the Management Committee did not see eye-to-eye on a number of issues but, following a series of meetings over the last few months, we are now united on the best way forward for the organisation.
“Members of the PFA have agreed that I should remain as Chief Executive throughout the period of the review to provide the necessary stability for our organisation and members.
“Following the review and the appointment of a new CEO, the current Chairman and Management Committee have agreed it is right for them to step down as well.
“I have given the majority of my life to the advancement of the PFA and I hope I have provided a platform for our continued success in the future.”
He concluded: “Every decision I have made has been in the interest of members and I believe the review will make the PFA – the oldest and most powerful sporting union in the world – even stronger. It will ensure we have the right structures in place to support our former, current and future members.
“It goes without saying that I am extremely proud of the work and input that the PFA has had on the development of the greatest game in the world, and I will continue to fight for the organisation, its members and our role in the game – both in this country and worldwide.”
Former Olympian becomes BHA Chair
Annamarie Phelps, Vice-Chair of the British Olympic Committee and a former Olympic rower, has been appointed as the new Chair of the British Horseracing Authority.
Annamarie is an experienced senior figure in British sport. She has worked for a variety of governing bodies dealing with complex political and regulatory issues and was the Chair of British Rowing until last year. She chaired the independent review into British Cycling in 2017.
Commenting on her new role, she said: “I relish the opportunity to work in British Racing. Everything I’ve seen and heard tells me that racing people are passionate about their sport, proud of its magnificent heritage and unified by a love of horses.
“I am looking forward to working with new colleagues at the BHA and across the sport. My priority is to help with the immediate challenges we face, but I am excited by the opportunities for racing to grow and flourish in the years ahead.
“I believe that collaboration is the key to success and am privileged to be given a chance to play my part.”
Mark Bullingham becomes FA CEO
The Football Association (FA) has confirmed that Mark Bullingham will be appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Bullingham will succeed The FA’s current Chief Executive Officer, Martin Glenn, who announced in December that he would step down from the role at the end of this season.
Commenting on his new role, Bullingham stated: “This is an incredibly exciting time to be at The Football Association and I’m delighted to be given this opportunity.
“I’m hugely passionate about the role The FA plays in improving the English game and our positive contribution to society. Getting kids across the country active and learning life skills such as teamwork and communication is incredibly rewarding.
“I’m confident in the talent and determination of the workforce here and the direction we are heading together.
“However, there is still a huge amount to do; from transforming the quality of amateur pitches, to doubling the women’s and girls’ game across the country, to hosting major international tournaments, to building digital tools to help volunteers across all areas of the grassroots game. The to-do list is long but we know that as a team, we can deliver huge progress.
“I would also like to thank Martin Glenn for his support over the last two and a half years. Martin has played a principal role in making The FA a more modern, innovative and inclusive organisation. He has created a strong leadership team that is making a real difference at every level of English football.”
All change in Rotterdam
Dutch Eredivise side, Feyenoord has announced that having helped stabilise the club’s finances, Technical Director Martin van Geel will depart the former Dutch champions.
A statement on the Feyenord website detailed: “I will be proud about what we have achieved together over the past eight years and I close the door behind me. Of course it is unfortunate that it will end soon, but the fate of a td is that successes from the past and where you come from as a club are quickly forgotten by a part of the outside world if it runs into a lesser period.
“That’s a shame, but that’s how it works. The negative attention that is now around me is not good for Feyenoord. That is why I make space. “
The club is yet to find a replacement for van Geel, however the Rotterdam side revealed a replacement to departing Manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst has been found in Manchester United legend, Jaap Stam.
Stam has rediscovered success as a Manager PEC Zwolle, having been sacked by English Championship side Reading last March.