Head of PFA fights for job amid betting allegations

Aug 29, 2013 |
By: Jon Campbell
Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association in the UK, is fighting for his job in the wake of allegations that he has racked up gambling debts betting on soccer.

The 68 year old spent Wednesday in talks in Manchester after reports he's accumulated debts of over £100,000. Today's Sun wrote that Taylor wagered over £4 million through roughly 2,000 bets over a two and a half year period. The Independent writes that Taylor is accused of owing telephone betting firm Best Bet £104,000 and is reported to have wagered £47,500 on horse racing in one day.

Taylor is not accused of doing anything illegal in a country where betting is regulated and betting on sports is as simple as walking into a book on any number of street corners. But wagering in soccer has come under fire lately, most recently with the four-month ban of Tottenham's Andros Townsend. Three others were suspended this offseason for violating the Football Association's betting regulations.

Taylor has also suggested a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to players betting on football in the past, something the UK papers are quick to point out in every story Thursday. So this issue strikes with a foul taste of hypocrisy for many.

Still, the PFA boss - who has been in this role since 1981 - is the highest paid union official in Britain and with a salary of £1,082,615 a year. That makes £100,000 look like a drop in the English Channel. And it also makes this story about ethics and transparency, not legality, which is the only reason he's still clinging to his job right now. 

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