Taylor: PFA still support me

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor is confident that he is still the right man to lead the players' union.

Last Updated: 12/09/13 at 16:34 Post Comment

Gordon Taylor: Has the backing of the PFA

Gordon Taylor: Has the backing of the PFA

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has emphasised his belief that he is still capable of leading the union forward following allegations he has run up large gambling debts.

Reports have claimed the 68-year-old, who took up his current post in 1981, amassed a personal debt of more than £100,000 to a bookmaker.

He looks set to remain in office, having received the "full support" of the PFA in response to the allegations.

And speaking to Sky Sports News on Thursday, Taylor said: "I have never claimed to be holier than thou.

"I have been through most things in life, and from that point of view, I'll stand by the experience and the help and advice I have given to people.

"We use the Sporting Chance clinic because that is run by people who have been through that mill.

"I'm not saying you have to, but to have experienced most things in life like I have, I do feel capable of still, as long as I'm wanted, doing the job and developing the PFA into what it is at the moment - the most powerful sporting union in the world, besides being the longest-established.

"Of course, I'm mortal and there will be a time in the future when I will have to move on and pass on the baton, but we have a good network of people both within the PFA and in our membership.

"I will make sure when I do leave that I leave it in good hands so it will become stronger than ever to cope with modern-day issues and, above all of course, football and footballers and making sure the game is in a healthier state for all players than when they joined it.

"Football has no divine right to be the major spectator sport or participant sport. There are a lot of other sports out there and football has to make sure it works hard and looks after itself and involves as many people as possible.

"That starts from the base of the pyramid right to the top and not in the opposite direction."

There is no suggestion Taylor has done anything illegal but he could face a fight to save his reputation after previously speaking strongly about the dangers of gambling.

In 2010 he called for a "zero-tolerance" stance to tackle betting problems among players.

As a player Taylor made over 250 appearances for Bolton before enjoying spells with Birmingham, Blackburn, the 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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