Talks with PFA are called off by League

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The Independent Football

Talks to settle the dispute between the Professional Footballers' Association and the Premier League over television income were postponed yesterday, with union insiders claiming the League was unsure how to progress with negotiations.

"There was due to be a meeting between Gordon Taylor [the PFA chief executive], Dave Richards [the League chairman] and Maurice Watkins [the Manchester United solicitor who advises the League]," said a senior PFA source. "But it was called off by the League, apparently because of cold feet over press interest."

A spokesman for the League strongly denied suggestions that any firm appointment for yesterday had been made. "The door has always remained open for further talks and we hope that negotiations will now resume at the earliest opportunity," the spokesman said. "The timescale for any further talks are a matter for the football authorities and the PFA to agree."

The next round of negotiations are expected later this week between Taylor and his counterparts from the Premier League (Richard Scudamore), the Football League (David Burns) and the Football Association (Adam Crozier). The League has been at pains to point out that Scudamore remains its chief negotiator.

If talks fail – and it is understood the PFA is not willing to compromise anywhere near as much as League hopes – strike action could start any time from 23 November onwards.