New Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chief executive Maheta Molango has begun his new role, taking over from Gordon Taylor who has held the position for 40 years.
Molango will work alongside his predecessor for a short transitional period and is expected to be based in London on a day-to-day basis.
Molango will be faced with a full in-tray, with issues such as dementia in footballers, salary caps and online abuse posing key challenges.
However, it’s his ability to bring the players union together again after an unstable period which could prove his most difficult task.
Molango’s appointment raised some eyebrows in the game after he was chosen above the PFA’s chairman Ben Purkiss, who first initiated the process to oust Taylor, and Gareth Farrelly, the former Everton player who now works as a lawyer.
Molango arrived in England in 2004 when Brighton offered him a deal after a two-week trial. The striker played just seven times for them over the course of three years and had loan spells at Lincoln, Oldham and Wrexham, all without making a name for himself. He joined non-league Grays Athletic but was released in 2007 and returned to Spain where his career began.
Having gained a Spanish degree in political science, he then moved to Washington to study law before returning to Madrid to continue his education while still playing in the Spanish lower leagues. He got his qualification and had a successful career as a lawyer specialising in sport with former Brighton and Leicester striker Leonardo Ulloa one of his clients.
He moved into the administration side of the game in 2016 when he was appointed as Real Mallorca’s chief executive. He won praise for the job he did as the Balearic Island club won promotion back to La Liga. He left the position last year, having “improved the fan experience, established new marketing partnerships and improved our youth academy”.
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