PFA, Premier League Launches Ailing Footballers Health Fund
The Professional Footballers’ Association has announced the creation of a Football Brain Health Fund to assist former players and their families, who have been impacted by dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions.
The creation of the Fund, which was supported by the English Premier League, was announced on Wednesday, September 6, on the handle of the EPL, @premierleague, on X (formerly Twitter).
“An initial amount of £1 million will be made available immediately to provide discretionary financial support to former players and their families to help improve their quality of life.
“The fund will be in place whilst the PFA and Premier League seek to establish a charity involving other football stakeholders as the longer-term vehicle for support,” the statement on the EPL website read.
In his reaction, the Chief Executive of the PFA, Maheta Molango noted that “football provides practical support to former players who develop dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions, ”adding that the new Fund is a significant way forward in achieving such.
“It’s an issue where, in all areas, we continue to believe there needs to be a football-wide responsibility. That includes providing access to financial support for former players and the families who most need it.
“The Premier League deserves credit for the proactive way in which they have approached these discussions. Obviously, we hope that other stakeholders in the game will choose to contribute to the Fund going forward.”
“There is much that still needs to be done, but this is a positive development that will provide help to former players and their families, and which demonstrates how football has to work together on this issue.”
Also, Chief Executive of the EPL, Richard Masters, noted that the league’s “long-standing partnership” with the PFA birthed the Fund.
He mentioned that the EPL holds the safety and care of players in high regard.
Masters said, “The welfare and care of players has always been a priority for the Premier League, and we feel it is important to offer our support to this newly established brain health fund.
“The fund builds on our long-standing partnership with the PFA and strengthens our collective support for former players facing health challenges.”
The website statement indicated that applications for financial support are open to former professional footballers who have been members of the PFA and have a diagnosed neurodegenerative disease.
The applications will then be assessed by a newly established, independent panel, which will be led by the Chief Executive, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Steve Jamieson.
Also included in the panel are senior sectoral experts with experience in neurology, nursing and social care.
The statement read, “The PFA’s established Brain Health team will continue to act as a central point of contact for former players and their families to access support and advice, including those seeking guidance on how to apply for financial support through the fund.
“More so, the expert panel will ensure football authorities have no influence on decisions regarding financial assistance and against informed and established criteria.
“The new fund is designed to provide a transparent and streamlined process through which those seeking help can apply for financial assistance, while also ensuring they receive personal contact and advice on broader support which may also be available to them.”