After 40 years in the role, Gordon Taylor is set to finally step down as chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association.
His replacement, Maheta Molango, is viewed by many as somewhat of a leftfield choice. In fact, unless you are based in Spain, we would be shocked if you were even aware of the former Oldham Athletic striker’s existence prior to him hitting the headlines.
You need not worry if that’s the case, as your best friends at 90min have compiled a one-stop guide to everything you should know about the PFA’s new lead man. Let’s tuck in…
Molango must be the only player to have both Atletico Madrid and Grays Athletic on his footballing CV.
The Swiss-born striker started his career at Los Rojiblancos, failing to make an appearance before joining Brighton in 2004, who were then in the second tier.
A string of loan spells further down the English football pyramid followed before he was eventually released in 2007. Soon after he rocked up at Grays for a few games and then decided to return to Spain for several lower league spells. He finished his career with a five-year stint at Madrid based Union Adarve, retiring in 2015.
Although it ultimately did not work out for Molango at Brighton, his Seagulls career got off to the perfect start.
On the opening day of the 2004/2005 season, he netted after just 12 seconds in a game against Reading at the Madejski Stadium. Although Brighton went on to lose the match 3-2, with Dave Kitson levelling up the scores a minute later, Seagulls fans who traveled to the game must have thought they were on to a winner with Molango.
As it turns out, that would be the only goal that he would score in a blue and white shirt. Molango fell out with Brighton boss and ‘proper football man’ Mark McGhee soon after, kickstarting a flurry of loan moves.
“He has showed some brilliance and he can also be very frustrating. We have to continue to work hard with him and he must toughen up,” McGhee told the Argus at the time. “Even in training he gets bumped and knocked over, sometimes marginal fouls which you don’t get, but he stops and is surprised. We have got to knock that out of him.”
As Brighton’s tweet has already given away, Molango is also a qualified lawyer. What’s even more impressive is that he combined earning his degree with playing football.
Shortly after returning to Spain in 2007, he joined a law practice where he specialised in sport, naturally. Two years later he obtained his Masters degree from the Washington University of Law.
While in the United States he wrote a paper discussing property rights during armed conflicts which appeared in the ILSP Law Journal. He really is not your stereotypical footballer, is he?
If you want a raw, behind the scenes look at Molango, check out series two of Six Dreams on Amazon Prime.
The documentary series follows different figures over the course of a La Liga season, with a mixture of players, executives and managers all being covered.
Molango appeared in the series during his time as RCD Mallorca CEO, a role he held until January 2020 when a falling out with manager Vicente Moreno led to his departure. Also featured in series two are Santi Cazorla, Athletic Bilbao’s Aritz Aduriz and Levante boss Paco Lopez.
Communicating with the cultural melting pot of PFA members should not be a problem for Molango.
The 38-year-old is fluent in English, French and Spanish, skills that served him well during his playing career.
As per The Times, no matter where in the world Molango played his football, he always negotiated his own contracts.