Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has been unabashed about his disapproval for football players who partake in gambling, often citing a ‘zero tolerance’ approach when it came to gambling on the sport.
But a recent report by The Sun paints an entirely different picture of Taylor. In the report, the PFA chief executive is allegedly a serial gambler who has run up gambling debts in excess of £100,000. It’s a shocking revelation that could end up being an embarrassing revelation for a man who spoke openly to CalvinAyre.com last year about educating players on the supposed perils of gambling and adopting the said zero tolerance policy on anybody who breaches this rule.
In his conversation with CA.com, Taylor also expressed his desire to combat players gambling on the sport by educating them even at youth team level. “An education program for players is already in place and over the last 4 years the PFA have been holding player meetings at clubs to discuss the betting rules alongside other information we provide to players,” Taylor said at the time.
“This season as a sport, football has come together and shown a united front and the PFA and FA have been visiting all Premier League and Football League Club to continue to build on our education program with regard to making sure that players understand what they can and cannot do in the rules relating to betting and where they can go for help.”
But these recent reports paint an entirely different picture of the man, or at least cast light on a side that nobody thought existed. According to The Sun, Taylor placed around £4 million on 2,000 bets over the course of 30 months, mostly betting on horse racing and Premier League matches.
More specifically, rumors have also circulated that he plunked down a cool £15,000 on England to beat Switzerland in 2011, a match that ended up being a 2-2 draw. All these allegations of free-spending betting from somebody who has served as the chief executive of the PFA for more than 30 years casts a palpable haze of confusion in light of other official’s pious declarations of protecting the integrity of the sport from the perils of match-fixing.
Neither Taylor nor the PFA have yet to comment on these allegations and judgment should be reserved until more information comes to light.