Taylor says leagues are 'trying to destroy' PFA

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The Independent Online

Gordon Taylor has accused the Premier League of wanting to destroy the Professional Footballers' Association and as the chief executive of the PFA he is urging players to strike over the dispute with the Premier League and Nationwide League over television money.

Taylor claims the leagues are offering the PFA less money this season despite signing a lucrative new deal for TV rights. The PFA has not received any TV money since the last agreement expired in the summer and Taylor says the union will be bankrupt inside a year unless a new accord is reached.

"The Premier League wants to destroy the union," Taylor said. "They are trying to wipe out the PFA because they don't want any control over what they do. Over the last two years we have spent £23m on our projects and without the TV money the union will just go bust inside a year."

Last year the PFA received £7.5m from the Premier League and £1.35m from the Nationwide League and spent more than £12m on its various projects. The PFA's management committee will meet in the coming week and if there is still no resolution, members will be balloted on industrial action with Taylor recommending that players should strike, possibly refusing to play in live televised matches.

Manchester United have dismissed reports that they have lined up the Roma coach, Fabio Capello, to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as their manager in the summer.

It had been suggested that United had offered Capello a four-year deal worth just over £11m. United insist they have not approached Capello, who led Roma to the Serie A title last season, and that they have not yet begun in earnest the search for Ferguson's replacement.

"It's total rubbish," United's director of communications, Paddy Harverson, said yesterday. "We have not made an approach for Fabio Capello."

Meanwhile the Celtic plc chairman Brian Quinn has assured supporters that the club's manager, Martin O'Neill, will not be Ferguson's replacement either. "I have heard directly from the chairman of Manchester United plc [Roland Smith] that newspaper talk about Martin O'Neill is greatly exaggerated and without foundation," Quinn said.

"Martin lives in a pretty precarious world too and I don't doubt when he thinks the time is right he will come down and see me about his future. But we are very conscious of the value of Martin O'Neill to Celtic."

Quinn also stressed that O'Neill has been told that he has money to spend, but refused to disclose how much. He said: "Martin O'Neill knows how much he has to spend. You've got to give management, whether it's football management or the general management of a company, the general parameters of how much they can spend. Then you give them the flexibility of how you want to use those resources to the best effect."

The Celtic fans had their say at the AGM but will have to wait for a vote to discover if they can have a member elected onto the board of directors.

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