IAN HERBERT: Molango's involvement with 46th Minute is unthinkable

IAN HERBERT: Maheta Molango’s continued involvement with risky investment scheme is unthinkable… the PFA has too many chancers and too few advisers willing to protect footballers against financial trouble

  • The PFA have ordinarily come under fire for their lack of action on dementia 
  • But their financial advice for their members is also very much open to question
  • The group does not have enough staff willing to steer stars away from trouble

The botched research into dementia and Gordon Taylor’s salary have generally taken the headlines where the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) is concerned. 

But the union’s track record on financial advice for members has been very much open to question, too.

There was the long-serving PFA staff member, Vince O’Keefe, who left the union to work as a financial adviser for Kingsbridge Asset Management, a company later investigated by City of London Police over a series of schemes that saw high-profile footballers lose millions. O’Keefe has denied that his move linked the PFA to Kingsbridge.

Incoming PFA chief Maheta Malongo’s continued involvement with his new investment scheme is unthinkable – the role carries too much influence

There was the launch of a financial planning product with a company Pro Sport Wealth Management, founded by Gareth Griffiths, a trustee of the PFA’s own charity.

The pursuit of football players, desperate to find a way of preparing for life beyond football, has resembled the Wild West. Too many chancers, ready to tell them of tax efficient this or that. 

Too few advisers, ready to tell them to steer clear of products that are unregulated and not approved by organisations like the UK Financial Conduct Authority.

The organisation, currently run by Gordon Taylor (pictured), has a poor track record in offering financial advice to players and has too many chancers

Maheta Molango and his business partners say that their 46th Minute investment proposal was still in its infancy — ‘an investment thesis’ — and therefore had not reached the stage where regulatory approval came into play.

But whether it secures such status or not, any notion of Molango maintaining an involvement in it would be unthinkable, because the PFA chief executive’s role, even in the less lucrative post-Taylor years, is one that will carry huge influence.

An applicant for one of the PFA’s annual non-executive positions describes being told that he was unsuccessful because he had ‘too much experience in football.’ But breaking with the past extends to ending links with the sale of financial products. The PFA, of all organisations, should know that.

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