Gordon Taylor speaks of his plans for the future of football in the UK
Thu 18th Nov 2010 | Football Governance
In the wake of England’s poor display against France at Wembley last night, Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has voiced his concerns over the future of the national game.
Speaking to F.C. Business Magazine Taylor reveals how he hopes the long overdue National Football Centre at Burton will be built sooner rather than later and that one day footballers will be represented in the boardroom.
“Look it is clear that it has got to happen but that is just phase one” said Taylor.
“The previous centre that the FA operated at Lilleshall did produce good players like Michael Owen and Sol Campbell for the England first team. The acid test of Burton will be to see if it can do the same as Lilleshall and the same as what other countries’ coaching homes do.”
His comments raise the issue that there is simple not enough young British talent coming through the system however, he does support the Premier League’s 25 man squad rule which was introduced this season.
The cynics look at the rising percentage of foreign players playing verses home grown players and say the ruling is mere ‘lip service’ to an issue the league had to be seen to be doing something about.
“I think it is a bit more than lip service. It is an acknowledgement to increase young talent. What I will say is that having them in the squad isn’t good enough. Having our young players getting splinters in their bottoms isn’t doing anyone any good, Taylor added.
“If you look at the players that are coming through, even they had a very tough time to do so. James Milner was told by Souness at Newcastle that he couldn’t risk playing young players – lucky for him he got a move and has come through – but of course you don’t hear about the ones that didn’t that still could have been great players.”
His comments stretched further, “I would like to see players (club captains) on the main board of clubs.”
“I think we need to move towards complete transparency in our game. Having the club captain on the board, being made privy to the financial situations and visions of the club and being able to relay that to his teammates in their speak can only be good for the game.
“I also advocate the idea of having supporters on the board as well. As long as they are organized this will have only positive impacts on clubs and I’m glad to see that some are heading in that direction.
“I think it is very important for people to remember that football has no divine right to be the most popular played sport in this country or the world. If we don’t all continue to progress as individuals and organisations then other sports will fill that void that we create. So from a PFA perspective it is very important that we continue to battle hard on the fronts we currently are and any more that come along on the way.
“You have to keep your eye on the temperature of the game. I am passionate about making sure football remains a vital and positive part of our social fabric.“
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