Gordon Taylor WILL be grilled by MPs on football’s dementia scandal next week after families of victims urged them to question the PFA chief over organisation’s lack of action on brain disease in football
- PFA chief Gordon Taylor will be grilled by MPs on football’s dementia scandal
- Family of dementia victims wrote to the DCMS demanding he be questioned
- Sportsmail columnist Chris Sutton put his name to the letter sent to the DCMS
- Sportsmail’s campaign to tackle football’s dementia problem launched last year
Gordon Taylor will be grilled by MPs on Tuesday about the players’ union’s handling of football’s dementia crisis.
It comes after family members of former footballers who died from the disease wrote to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee calling for the PFA chief executive to be quizzed.
It is expected to be a fiery exchange between Taylor and the politicians, who may make his multi-million-pound salary a topic of discussion.
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor will be grilled by MPs on football’s dementia scandal
During a previous DCMS session, chair Julian Knight pointed out ‘£250,000, which was Dr Willie Stewart’s entire budget for his research, is six weeks’ salary for Gordon Taylor at the head of the PFA, which I think says an awful lot.’
The DCMS committee planned two sessions originally as part of their inquest into concussion in sport. Representatives from the FA, RFU and World Rugby were called for questioning but nobody appeared on behalf of the PFA.
A third session has now been scheduled for Tuesday.
Taylor will appear with Damian Hopley, chief executive of the Rugby Players Association, and Paul Struthers, director at the Professional Players Federation. Medical experts Dr John Etherington and Dr Richard Sylvester will also give evidence.
Chris Sutton (R) has spearheaded Sportsmail’s campaign for football to do more to tackle dementia. His dad, Mike, an ex-player, died on Boxing Day after 10-year battle with dementia
In a statement, the committee confirmed: ‘MPs will consider medical advice given to players about the risks of concussive head trauma, its treatment, and attempts to have brain injury in football classified as an industrial injury. The welfare of players affected will be addressed, along with how grassroots sports are supported.’
Taylor will be asked to explain what his union are doing to tackle dementia and how many members are afflicted by the disease. The committee are also expected to ask him to clarify where the union is with lobbying lawmakers IFAB to introduce temporary concussion substitutes.
Sources said yesterday Taylor was not called personally by the DCMS committee, but when they asked for a PFA representative, the 76-year-old volunteered.
This represents a significant step for Sportsmail’s campaign to have football’s dementia scandal properly addressed and those in charge held to account.
Columnist Chris Sutton, whose father Mike also played football professionally and died of dementia in December, has been at the heart of our fight for change.
Sutton was one of those who put his name to a letter sent to the DCMS committee last month. Written by John Stiles, the son of late 1966 World Cup hero Nobby, it urged MPs to quiz Taylor and claimed the PFA had let their members down, describing the organisation as a ‘byword for scandal and cronyism’.
Taylor told the BBC his union had been the best in the world at tackling dementia. But the letter stated: ‘Taylor offers no evidence to support his claims to have done more than any other union.’