PFA pledges support to Taylor

Gordon Taylor retains the "full support" of the PFA in the wake of allegations over his substantial gambling debts.

Last Updated: 29/08/13 at 15:27 Post Comment

Gordon Taylor: Backed by the PFA

Gordon Taylor: Backed by the PFA

Gordon Taylor retains the "full support" of the Professional Football Association in the wake of allegations that the union chief executive has amassed substantial gambling debts.

The allegations appeared to place Taylor's position at the head of the union in doubt but in a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the PFA has indicated that is not going to happen.

"The management committee are aware of the recent press allegations regarding Gordon Taylor," said the statement.

"Whilst this is a private matter for Gordon, he has informed us that this dispute has been in the hands of lawyers for some time.

"For that reason, it would be inappropriate for us to comment specifically. We have discussed this with him and he has our full support."

Taylor is one of the best paid, and longest serving, administrators in the game, having taken up his current role in 1981.

In building up his reputation, he has spoken numerous times about the perils of gambling for the modern generation of players.

It is therefore embarrassing that Taylor should find himself at the centre of such stories himself, amid allegations that he ran up a private debt of £100,000.

"We recognise that gambling is part of our culture and part of football and it is for that reason that the PFA remains committed to continue in its work to raise awareness levels and educate," ended the statement.

Taylor himself is yet to speak on the matter, although given the regularity with which he is required to comment on playing matters, that is not a stance which could realistically last for any significant length of time.

However, in 2010, Taylor warned that football needed to take a "zero tolerance" approach to betting.

Taylor said then: "The feeling in football, bearing in mind what has happened with other sports, is that we do need a zero tolerance.

"It's going to be difficult because, as we all know, there is a culture of betting in football.

"Footballers like a gamble, we know that, but the use of inside information and betting of any kind has become a very sensitive issue. We feel it's time that the players' union backed a zero tolerance stance against betting."

As a player Taylor made over 250 appearances for Bolton before enjoying spells with Birmingham, Blackburn, Vancouver Whitecaps and Bury. Having joined the PFA management committee in 1972 he became its chairman six years later and a full-time member on retiring from football in 1980.

A year later he succeeded Cliff Lloyd as chief executive and spent the next decade integrating the youth training scheme into professional football while introducing standard contracts and non-contributory pension schemes for all players.

Taylor served as president of the International Association of Football Players' Unions (FIFPro) between 1994 and 2005 and remains a major supporter of anti-racism campaigns 'Show Racism the Red Card' and 'Kick It Out'.

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