PFA chief isn't a hypocrite, claims Bobby Barnes

09 September 2013 04:16

Professional Footballers' Association deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes insists Gordon Taylor is not a hypocrite amid allegations that he has run up large gambling debts.

The long-term PFA chief executive has received the full support of the players' union after reports emerged claiming he had amassed a personal debt of more than £100,000 to a bookmaker.

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

The 68-year-old has been unable to comment due to legal concerns but Barnes denies that the PFA chief has been hypocritical.

Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5 Live, the former West Ham player said: "I think it's been well known that Gordon is someone who likes a bet occasionally.

"I think what Gordon has been pointing out is that, particularly for a footballer where the perception might be that for one reason or another it was undesirable to place bets, it is safer for that player not to bet altogether.

"He's never gone out in public and said people shouldn't gamble because that certainly would be hypocritical, but Gordon has never done that."

Barnes has no doubt that Taylor will remain in the position he has held since 1981 despite the recent criticism he has endured.

He added: "Gordon Taylor has done a tremendous job for football and footballers over the last 30 years in this country.

"I think it's difficult sometimes when you focus on negative aspects, and I understand that because it is a high-profile industry, but at the same time there are so many things I can talk to you about what we as a union and Gordon Taylor as the leader have done to the benefit of players in this country.

Source: PA