Gary Neville hit by complaint over his role in PFA search for new CEO

Gary Neville hit by a complaint over his role in the PFA’s search for a new CEO as a former leading candidate sends explosive letter accusing the union of acting unlawfully during process that led to the hiring of Maheta Molango

  • Gary Neville’s role in the PFA’s search for a new CEO is the subject of a complaint 
  • The PFA has been accused of acting unlawfully by a former leading candidate
  • Neville, who co-owns Salford City, is accused of having a conflict of interest 
  • Maheta Molango’s appointement to the job was approved by the players’ board 

Gary Neville’s role in the Professional Footballers’ Association’s search for a new chief executive is the subject of a formal complaint, Sportsmail can reveal.

The organisation have been accused of acting unlawfully over the process that led to Maheta Molango’s appointment to the job.

A former leading candidate for the post makes the claim in an explosive letter sent to outgoing CEO Gordon Taylor.

Gary Neville’s role in the PFA’s search for a new CEO is the subject of a formal complaint

Maheta Molango (pictured above) is taking over from Gordon Taylor as the new PFA chief

Among the issues raised in the document, which has been seen by Sportsmail, is Neville’s role as chair of the independent selection panel, who picked the four-person advisory panel tasked with interviewing the candidates and recommending Taylor’s successor.

The former Manchester United and England defender is accused of having a conflict of interests because he is co-owner of League Two club Salford City.

It is also pointed out in the letter that Neville was a member of the EFL salary cap working group that opposed the interests of players.

In another grievance, the PFA have been asked to confirm whether Molango and Ebru Koksal, who was on the advisory panel, declared a previous working engagement, which calls into question the process’s integrity.

Neville is accused of having a conflict of interest because of his association with Salford City 

The pair sat alongside each other during the World Football Summit in Madrid in 2019, sparking concerns of a prior relationship between the pair.

The letter seeks clarification as to the strength of Molango and Koksal’s connection amid further conflict-of-interest fears.

It is also stated that Molango’s appointment could contravene trade union laws because the process of approving the 38-year-old as the preferred candidate did not include a ballot of the PFA’s members.

After the advisory panel — which included Women in Football chair Koksal, Darren Hardman (Amazon) and Trevor Johnson (TikTok) — recommended Molango’s appointment, the players’ board approved his election as CEO but did not call a members’ ballot.

The letter, sent to Taylor and the players’ management committee, further questions whether a due diligence report into Molango was done by an independent specialist.

A former leading candidate for the post made the claim in an explosive letter sent to Taylor

There have also been strong objections to John Mousinho, who was on the independent selection panel alongside Neville and sits on the players’ board, being allowed to sit in on at least two interviews. Under the terms of reference, Mousinho was meant to step away from the process after the advisory panel had been appointed.

There are concerns over Ben Purkiss’s decision to run for the role of CEO, given he led an earlier revolt against Taylor. As part of a deal with Taylor to get the PFA to commit to an independent review in 2019, Purkiss agreed not to seek election to an executive position for five years.

Purkiss’s decision to run has led to integrity concerns. ‘This makes a mockery of the process,’ read the letter.

The complainant has asked for his letter — sent on Thursday — to be reviewed under the PFA’s internal complaints procedures and wants a response within seven days of receipt of the correspondence.

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