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On Thursday and Friday (October 7 and 8) the English PFA hosts the first ever FIFPro Symposium centred around Corporate Social Responsibility at the City of Manchester Stadium.


Professional footballer’s union’s delegates from over 30 countries descended on Manchester for the two day event, which showcases the considerable contributions of the English PFA in areas such as community, education, anti-racism and its International good causes programmes.


Keynote speaker of the symposium is Gordon Taylor OBE, chief executive of the English PFA and honorary president of FIFPro. On Thursday afternoon he reminded the audience of the mid 1980’s. ‘It was a difficult period for English football. The game was at its lowest ebb. There were enormous problems with hooliganism and other sorts of bad behaviour. The prime minister was talking about closing stadiums.’


During that challenging period community programmes were first established at professional clubs, continued Taylor. Since, player engagement has been a key contributor to the resurrection of football in England. ‘The PFA has been integral to the raising of standards across all 92 clubs of the Football League, providing advice, guidance and support for clubs and players who have embraced this approach.’


Gordon Taylor OBE, chief executive of the English PFA and honorary president of FIFPro


Currently, the standard player’s contract contains the obligation to spend 3 to 6 hours a week to community work. ‘With over 34,000 appearances by our members during last season across the thematic areas of Community, Education, Social Inclusion and Equalities, there is a genuine commitment to effect positive social change.’


'This Symposium is an ideal opportunity to pass on our knowledge to the rest of the World’, explained John Hudson, PFA director of community. ‘The PFA wants to emphasise the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility and genuine commitment to this work on a local, national and at international level in 2010.’


At the Symposium there will be national and international charity partners such as The Kids Taskforce, 1 Goal-Education for All, Kick it Out, Show Racism the Red Card, Coaching for Hope, Balls to Poverty, along with contributions from former player ambassadors such as Paul Elliott MBE and current City in the Community manager, Alex Williams MBE.


FIFPro secretary general Theo van Seggelen