PFA rejects latest TV offer as strike talks resume

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The Independent Football

The Professional Footballers' Association has been offered almost £50m of television income over three years but will hold out for substantially more when talks between the game's governing bodies and the union resume today.

The latest offer tabled by the Premier League, the Football League and the Football Association is worth around £16.6m a year. This equates to 2.31 per cent of the authorities' £720m combined annual television revenue.

Under the old television deals, the PFA received £8.8m per year towards its work helping needy players. The union is seeking to maintain its percentage cut even though television income has increased dramatically. Five per cent of the game's total television income is worth some £36m per year.

The PFA has invited the three governing bodies to monitor its spending in the hope they will increase their latest offer even further. As part of the negotiations aimed at averting a players' strike, the union has said it will allow the leagues and the FA to appoint trustees to its three charitable funds. The trustees would scrutinise expenditure by the PFA's benevolent and hardship fund, education fund and medical and accident fund.

"We don't have anything to hide, as we have shown by opening up our accounts for scrutiny," Gordon Taylor, the PFA's chief executive, said yesterday. "We are comfortable for them to appoint trustees to our charitable funds. It is something we are prepared to do to show our good faith."

If talks fail, strike action could start any time from 23 November onwards, although the PFA has yet to decide which games it would target.

"That particular strategy is being formulated at the moment," Taylor said. More than 99 per cent of England's players have voted in favour of strike action, if necessary.

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