Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Ben Purkiss insists the organisation must evolve amid a power struggle at the union.
The 34-year-old has already called for an independent review to modernise the PFA.
The union’s chief executive Gordon Taylor, who has been in the role for 37 years, has reportedly raised concerns over Purkiss’ eligibility as chairman because he is a non-contract player at Walsall.
The defender has the full support of the union’s management committee.
“The PFA needs to evolve otherwise you get left behind,” Purkiss, who has been chairman for 12 months, told BBC Sport.
“We have discussed the need for evolution and the rapid pace the world is changing, and the pace at which football and footballers are changing.
“If you do not continue on that path, eventually other organisations will fill your space. From there, where do you go? You kind of become obsolete.
“Modern footballers are markedly different from the footballer of five, 10, 15 years ago. The game is changing at a rapid pace.
“Look at the Manchester City team at the top of the table, their style of play and calibre of player is so much different to five or 10 years ago. With that brings different challenges for the players.
“I would like to see us having a better relationship with the players. I would like to see a situation where they truly understand what we can do for them, not just in times of need but taking the proactive approach.
“Going into dressing rooms, talking to the younger players, helping them financially, so – for all the players who do fall by the wayside and have their dreams shattered – we are there, they know exactly who to come to and they can come to us straight away.”
Taylor reportedly raised the issue of Purkiss, who his recovering from a neck injury, being a non-contract player and his eligibility.
But Purkiss said non-contract players have always been PFA members and plans to remain in his role.
“We had a meeting a few weeks ago. We had a full and frank discussion,” he said.
“I left the room, enabled them to talk about the direction they wanted to take the organisation, came back into the room and received unanimous approval from the management committee.”