PFA chief says young footballers could see wages put into trust until they are mature enough to spend it

Concerns over vast sums give to youngsters

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The Independent Online

The chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association has said that there is a case for some of young Premier League players’ huge salaries to be put into trust until they have developed the maturity to know how to spend the money.

The career story of Ched Evans revealed on these pages (links below) includes the claim by the family which housed him that he had too much time and money on his hands as a teenager. Taylor told The Independent that the levels of money now coming into the game – “unimaginable” to earlier generations of players – meant that teenagers were being asked to be wise before their time. “These are young men with a lot of energy,” Taylor said. “There’s a strong feeling that a proportion of that money should be put into trust.”

The players’ union has identified that players do need to be given help on how to conduct their lives, when the 12 hours a week of compulsory education which they undertake from the ages of 16 to 18 finishes. “We are undertaking more and more work with them through our ‘lifestyle’ programme,” Taylor said. “We make it clear to them that they are under scrutiny 24 hours a day and that they are the new celebrities, if you like. Our message is that they must be careful where they go and what they are doing.” The uptake of PFA lifestyle courses has increased from 10 per cent to 75 per cent in the last decade. “Despite the generalisation that people like to make, players are using their time more productively,” Taylor said.

Taylor believes Evans should be entitled to reintegration into football, having served the prison sentence handed down to him. “We are not ignoring the other side of this case by arguing that,” Taylor said. “It is not his fault he is out earlier than the length of sentence imposed upon him. If we are not careful we are going to develop a lynch mob in a case like this.”