Kick in the teeth
Fury of dementia families at PFA chief’s £150k pay rise
DEMENTIA campaigners have described PFA boss Maheta Molango’s £150,000 pay-rise as a ‘slap in the face’ and branded the union ‘morally bankrupt’. The chief executive, who replaced Gordon Taylor in 2021, has seen his salary hiked to £650,000, with the PFA linking the increase to the cost-of-living crisis.
Taylor had been earning more than £2m a year and Molango started on £500,000 — but has now pocketed a backdated 30 per cent uplift following what was effectively his first pay review.
The union have faced severe criticism for their perceived lack of support for former players suffering from dementia.
And following a Mail Sport campaign, there have been moves to address the issue, with a new dementia fund opened this year, making £1m available. However, that figure is seen as a drop in the ocean, and against that backdrop Molango’s hefty rise has not gone down well.
John Stiles, whose father — England World Cup winner Nobby — died after suffering from dementia in 2020, blasted the move.
‘The PFA are morally bankrupt and this just proves it,’ said Stiles, who used to play for Leeds United and Doncaster.
‘How can they possibly justify this? It is typical of the PFA and it is a slap in the face to all those families who are struggling to pay for care for their loved ones who are suffering because they played football.
‘Molango was non- elected and just like Taylor has carte blanche to do what he wants. This is an abuse of money that should be there to help players.’
The PFA declined to comment. However, insiders say the restructuring of the PFA has led to a more transparent process in which an independent remuneration committee recommends salaries which are then signed off by the operations and players’ boards.
Regardless, John McNamee Jnr, whose father played for Celtic and Newcastle, is also deeply unimpressed.
The McNamee family recently sold their home to pay for care-home costs for John Snr — who was diagnosed with dementia in 2016 — having decided not to apply for money from the £1m fund as they thought it would take cash away from those who were more desperate than themselves.
‘We got what amounts to a little over Molango’s pay rise,’ John Jnr explained. ‘Dad will now likely pass away in a care home without being a home owner despite a 13-year playing career. It’s typical.’