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Express & Star comment: Gordon Taylor salary scandalous compared to funding for head injuries

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

Football has long since ceased to be the people's game.

PFA chief Gordon Taylor

Exorbitant ticket prices and sky high players' wages have catapulted the sport into a realm far beyond the comprehension of the ordinary fan.

Yet it is still shocking to see the grotesque salary pocketed by the Professional Footballers' Association's chief executive Gordon Taylor.

His annual wage is a staggering £2.2m a year, including a 'bonus' of £777,000.

Not bad for a trade union leader whose organisation collects around £547,000 a year from its members.

Taylor does not exactly come across as the most inspirational of leaders, but he has managed to stay in his extremely lucrative post for almost four decades.

A former player himself, Taylor has made far more money than many of those with 100 times his talent ever managed in their football careers.

Success

There are those who will say that he has been a success in the role.

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He has been an ambassador for anti-racism, and in the early 1980s brought in a new standard contract for players along with a non-contributory pension scheme.

But many people will argue that when it comes to addressing some of football's biggest issues, Taylor has fallen well short.

Of course, many among the current crop of professional footballers become millionaires within months of signing their first professional contract.

This is despite the fact that a large proportion of them never ply their trade any higher than the old second division.

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As a player in the 1960s and 1970s, you would think that Taylor would feel a greater sense of responsibility for the players of that era.

Scandalous

The likes of Baggies legend Jeff Astle, for example, who was tragically killed by the impact of heading footballs aged just 59.

Over the same period that Taylor took home his enormous salary, his organisation spent just £100,000 on research into head injuries in football.

This is absolutely scandalous.

Football is crying out for research into this area.

There are still players now who are forced to retire due to fears over their safety, former Wolves striker Kevin Doyle, for example.

This work needs to be properly funded, and it needs to happen now.

If the players own union cannot see this, then who can?

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