Professional Footballers' Association

Professional Footballers' Association

Infobox Union|
name= PFA
country= United Kingdom
affiliation= TUC, GFTU, FIFPro
members= 4000
full_name= Professional Footballers' Association

founded= 1907
people= Gordon Taylor, chief executive
website= []
The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) is the association for professional footballers in the United Kingdom. It is the world's oldest professional sportsman's association and has 4,000 members.


Association Footballers' Union (1898-1901)

The first model of the PFA was the Association Footballers' Union (the AFU), which was formed in Liverpool in February 1898 and, in its early days, had 250 members. The reason why the Union was formed in Liverpool was because there were significant members of that Union who were at the time associated with Everton.

The AFU was a progenitor of the PFA but did not last and whereas Charles Saer, the Blackburn Rovers player and school teacher, sought, unsuccessfully, to broach an agreement with the League before leaving office, frustrated, in December 1898. The AFU dissolved itself in 1901.

The Players' Union/The Professional Footballers' Association (1907-present)

The second attempt at the unionisation of footballers took place on December 2, 1907 when Charlie Roberts and Billy Meredith (who had been involved in the AFU) convened the organisation of the Association of Football Players' and Trainers' Union (the AFPTU) (which the Press called the Players' Union) at Manchester’s Imperial Hotel. This Union came about because the Football League had finally ratified the maximum wage in 1901 at £4.

Between 1946 and 1957 the Chairman of the Union was former Portsmouth F.C. captain Jimmy Guthrie. His book 'Soccer Rebel', published in 1976, documents his chairmanship and the struggle of the Union to improve the lot of professional footballers in the years preceding the abolition of the maximum wage.

In 1974, the PFA created three awards to be given to players - or people who have contributed a lot to the game - every year. The first is the Players' Player of the Year award, given to the player voted the best of the season by his fellow players. The second is the Young Player of the Year award, given to the young player voted the best of the season by the PFA. The third is the Merit Award, given to the person who has contributed the most to football over the season, as voted for by the PFA.

In 2001, they created another award; the Fans' Player of the Year award, given to the player voted the best of the season by the fans. In 2005 they introduced yet another award; the Team of the Year award, given to eleven players in each league (forty-four players in total) who are deemed the best of the season by the PFA.

Present day objectives

In association with other football bodies, the PFA are the managing agents for the "Football Scholarship Programme" and the "Football in the Community Programme".

It is a member of the Institute of Professional Sport and FIFPro - the confederation of international football players' unions - as well as the Trades Union Congress. Its current chief executive is Gordon Taylor, a former player with Blackburn Rovers. Many of the key personnel within the PFA are also ex-professionals, including Deputy Chief Executive Mick McGuire (ex-West Bromwich Albion) and Assistant Chief Executives John Bramhall and Bobby Barnes [ [ Key Personnel in the PFA] ] . The PFA also have a financial arm, headed by ex-Aston Villa midfielder Des Bremner.


2007 brought along the 100th year since the foundation of The Players Union, and to commemorate the centenary year, the PFA launched their "One Goal One Million" campaign. The campaign involved a whole year of celebratory fund-raising activities with the aim of raising £1 million to fully fund a new children's rehabilitation and physiotherapy unit at the University Children’s Hospital, Manchester. Throughout the year the PFA ran a number of high-profile events involving current and former players and managers with the sole purpose of reaching the £1 million target. [ [ The Professional Footballers' Association - Introduction] ] Events included a pro-celebrity golf event, race days and initiatives involving our younger supporters. On the day that the PFA was formed in 1907 – December 2 – there was a match between an England Legends XI - captained by Alan Shearer and managed by Terry Venables - and a World Legends XI - captained by Gianfranco Zola and managed by Jürgen Klinsmann - culminating in a gala dinner in the evening involving a host of top entertainers.

In December of the centenary year, the PFA issued Fans' Favourites; a list of the favourite players at each Football League club. In making the selection, the PFA canvassed the opinions of the supporters of present, and some former, League clubs about their favourite player. [cite news| url= | title=Best footballers: Shearer a hero on two fronts | work=Daily Telegraph ]

Key personnel

Management committee

*Chairman: Chris Powell (Leicester City)
*Scott McGleish (Wycombe Wanderers)
*Marcus Hahnemann (Reading)
*Gary Neville (Manchester United)
*Darren Moore (Derby County)
*Neil Cutler (Retired)
*Ben Sedgemore (King's Lynn)
*Gareth Griffiths (Northwich Victoria)
*Clarke Carlisle (Burnley)
*Chris Hope (Rushden & Diamonds)
*Colin Murdock (Shrewsbury Town)

Past Chairmen

*Jimmy Guthrie
*Jimmy Hill
*Gordon Taylor
*Brian Marwood
*Derek Dougan
*Garth Crooks
*Barry Horne
*Dean Holdsworth

Chief Executives

*Chief Executive: Gordon Taylor
*Deputy Chief Executive: Mick McGuire
*Assistant Chief Executive: Bobby Barnes
*Assistant Chief Executive: John Bramhall

PFA Executives

*Richard Jobson
*Martin Buchan
*Nick Cusack

ee also

*The Players' Union
*The Football Association
*Scottish Professional Footballers' Association
*Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland
*Football Writers' Association


*cite book
author=Jimmy Guthrie
title=Soccer Rebel: The Evolution of the Professional Footballer.
publisher=Pentagon Books
id=ISBN 0-904288-08-0

External links

* [ The Official website of the Professional Footballers' Association]
* [ Vote for the Official PFA Fans' Player Award]

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