Steven Gerrard has called for the PFA to be subject to frequent reviews, with Gordon Taylor’s position as chief executive under threat from disgruntled members.
Taylor, who has been the leading figure in the players’ union for 37 years, has come in for criticism recently, including by chairman Ben Purkiss.
The 73-year-old’s salary of over £2million has been the subject of much controversy, as has the PFA’s record of supporting members in difficult circumstances, from illness to bankruptcy.
More than 300 current and former players have reportedly signed a letter calling for Taylor to resign, while Rangers boss Gerrard has revealed he has received messages asking him to take a side in the ongoing dispute.
“I’ve been asked to take sides by many individual players who are texting me and saying ‘Can I put your name forward for this, this and this’,” the former Liverpool and England captain told The Telegraph.
“My opinion is that when you have an organisation as big as the PFA and a union as big as it is, and so many lives are affected, there should be a review of the union every so often.
“Whether that be two years, four years, five years, I don’t know, but by doing that you make sure that the organisation is running smoothly and healthily.
“At the moment, it’s obviously very split, so I welcome a review of the process and if there’s anything in there that shouldn’t be there – working in the union – you need to step aside as soon as possible and get people who can move the union forward healthily and in the right place.”
On Wednesday, Taylor announced a “full and open review” into the organisation – a move welcomed by Gerrard.
“The union – if it’s not functioning properly – then an independent person or people should come in and review it and if anyone is overpaid or under-performing then get them out. I’d welcome that,” said the Rangers manager.
“The PFA does a lot of good things – I’ve only had good experiences with the PFA but I also understand that people have been let down seriously in other areas and if that’s the case then there needs to be an enquiry and a process where it doesn’t happen again.”
While Gerrard has never sought help from the PFA, many high-profile names have and one advocate of the good work the organisation does is Paul Merson.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star on Saturday, the former Arsenal midfielder claims Taylor helped save his life and added that he does not deserve a witch hunt.
“People need to think twice before calling on him to go. Six years ago I was diagnosed with skin cancer after doctors found a melanoma on my back and Gordon was really good to me,” wrote Merson.
“The PFA paid for my scans and appointments and treatment, and it was a lot of money. It was more than I could afford at the time. Serious money.
“I can’t speak highly enough of how he treated me. If it wasn’t for Gordon and the PFA, who’s to say I’d still be alive today?”