Players' union chief hits back at 'rude' Blatter

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The Independent Football

Blatter, who wants to stop "greed ruling the world of football", launched a fierce attack on avaricious players and wealthy club owners he claims are threatening the future of football.

The Professional Football Association's chief executive, Gordon Taylor, has hit back, though, accusing Blatter of biting the hand that feeds him.

The Fifa president said: "Equally unacceptable are the sort of wage negotiations that can produce the spectacle of semi-educated, sometimes foul mouthed, players on £100,000 a week holding clubs to ransom until they get, say, £120,000.

"What logic, right or economic necessity would qualify a man in his mid-20s to demand to earn in a month a sum that his own father - and the majority of fans - could not hope to earn in a decade?"

Taylor, who is also head of the international players' union Fifpro, criticised Blatter's comments, saying: "It strikes me as rude and extremely offensive for someone in his position to brand players as semi-educated when they have devoted all their lives to reaching the very top of their profession.

"I find it bizarre that the head of Fifa, which is an organisation which has built its huge wealth on the back of players, is having a go at those same players.

"Fifa will be making as much money as they can from the World Cups and yet he is criticising players for trying to maximise their income from a very short career."

The Fifa president also claimed that the huge sums of money spent by some club owners could make the game predictable.

"All too often, the source of this wealth is individuals with little or no history of interest in the game, who have happened upon football as a means of serving some hidden agenda," Blatter said.

"Having set foot in the sport seemingly out of nowhere, they proceed to throw pornographic amounts of money at it."

Blatter insisted that a new Fifa task force set up to deal with corruption and multiple ownership issues would deal with excesses.

But Taylor said that he found it "bizarre" for Blatter to be criticising "people who wanted to put the millions they have earned into the game and into the clubs".