United's players will join strike says Taylor

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The Independent Football

The chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, Gordon Taylor, claims he has the support of the Manchester United players and manager Sir Alex Ferguson in the bitter dispute with the Premier League over television money.

Taylor visited United's training complex at Carrington yesterday. "I spoke to Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Andy Cole, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Gary Neville and they were all very supportive of the PFA," Taylor said. "David Beckham was not there but he is very close to Gary Neville and he too knows about all the issues involved.

"Sir Alex understands our position well and he has also been supportive, which we very much appreciate."

The dispute is over whether the PFA should receive its customary five percent of television money, or around £25m a year of the Premier League's TV deal with Sky and ITV, £40m in all when the Football League and FA's TV deals are added.

The Premier League argues the PFA does not need that much to service their players' education and welfare funds, and have offered £9.85m a year, £1m more than the previous deal. Ballot papers for a vote on a boycott of televised matches by players will be sent out in the middle of next week. The dispute is certain to end up in the High Court if the players vote in favour of industrial action.