Said & Done: ‘It’s as if you’re supposed to be penniless’ - Gordon Taylor

David Hills on 18 February 2018

Man of the week

Gordon Taylor: taking his 10-year PFA income to £16.2m. Among his best work in 2017 - calling out the “disrespectful” FA for losing touch with reality: “There’s a perception that they’re disconnected dinosaurs.”

• Taylor’s long-held view on his worth, as set out in 2001 when he made “around £300,000 plus benefits”: “[The criticism] is archaic and insulting … It’s as though you’re supposed to be penniless, not have any assets and to be standing at the door of your employers with a begging bowl. It’s quite pathetic. It’s been said why can’t I manage on £50,000 a year. Well I could, but it’s like saying the Chelsea chairman Ken Bates should manage on that and give the rest of his money to the local poor. It’s a pathetic argument.” Taylor’s key message 17 years ago: “If I wanted to make more money out of football I’d have become an agent. Then I’d be a multi-millionaire.”

Meanwhile in Doha

Deal of the week: Greg Clarke’s FA “memorandum of collaboration with Qatar” - an “exciting” deal to “support the work of the Supreme Committee”.
Clarke’s view in 2013 on Qatar’s validity as a host: “Let’s have a new [vote]. Don’t start fiddling at the edges: run it again.”

Plus: quote of the week

Also looking ahead: Alvi Karimov, spokesman for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, attacking more “baseless” calls for Fifa to drop Grozny as Egypt’s 2018 host city due to Kadyrov’s human rights record. “I can state with full responsibility that the Chechen Republic is a more worthy location than all the places where World Cups have been conducted to this point.”

Other news: best leaders

Keeping busy last week:

a) Lazio president Claudio Lotito, taking a break from pushing the club’s anti-racism message to campaign for Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia. Lotito says he’s going “door to door like an apostle” to sell policies, including a pledge to deport 600,000 immigrants. “Lazio fans know the man I am. I thank Silvio for his trust.”

b) Thai FA president Somyot Poompunmuang, being interviewed as a witness over the £9.5m loan he took from a fugitive brothel owner wanted for human trafficking. Somyot, still pushing his FA’s “Come Together” campaign to “promote opportunities for women”, denies wrongdoing.

c) Marbella president Alexander Grinberg, freed from prison on €750,000 bail. Grinberg – arrested last year as part of a move against Costa del Sol-based Russian mafia, denies wrongdoing. “I thank the fans for their love.”

and d) Sulaiman Al Fahim, owner of Portsmouth for six weeks in 2009, jailed in the UAE for stealing £5m from his wife to fund the purchase.
Al Fahim’s plan in 2010 for rebuilding his image after all the bad press: financing and starring in his own biopic. “I’ll play myself, a philanthropist. I want people to see the real me, not what people have written about me. And not what people saw in my reality TV show... That series showed someone with ego, ignorant, selfish. I want this film to show my real, honest lifestyle.”

Elsewhere: plan of the week

Hull City vice-chairman Ehab Allam - floating “a number of options” to stop Allam Out protests at Friday’s TV game, including “not putting tickets on general sale”. Allam’s view of how things are going, as expressed last October: “I think we’re the best run club in the Football League, and arguably one of the top six in English football.”

Setback of the week

Alan Pardew - reflecting on West Brom’s warm-weather training break ending with four players stealing a taxi: “It wasn’t what we wanted.”

• Pardew’s plan for what he did want from the trip, as set out before they left: “Just a change of routine, if I’m honest. Get a little bit of sun on our backs, give ourselves some resolve for the final matches. We need a bit of team building, and a bit of hard work as well.”

Manager news: taking a stand

Grimsby’s board - issuing statements about Russell Slade. 1 Feb: “In the fickle and volatile world of football in which we operate, football clubs far too quickly respond to demands to change managers with the hope of a short-term points boost. Despite pressure and direction to do otherwise, the board are firmly of the opinion that, with time, Russell will turn the results around.” 11 Feb: “The board would like to thank Russell for his efforts.”

Also standing firm: Brazil’s manager’s union, co-ordinating a protest against Atlético-MG sacking coach Oswaldo de Oliveira a day after he confronted a “total jerk” “asshole” journalist in a post-game interview. São Bento’s Paulo Roberto Santos said the protest - coaches wearing white ribbons and refusing to talk - “showed solidarity”; ex-Santos coach Levir Culpi tweeted: “We are all Oswaldo.”

Most misunderstood

Russia: FC Chertanovo Moscow midfielder Stanislav Manayev – sorry for any offence after a clip of him blowing his nose on a 5,000 rouble note went viral. Manayev, who captioned it: “I could have given this to the poor, but I had a runny nose”, said it was banter. “We live for jokes, it’s normal.”

And most unlucky

Mexico: Pumas striker Nicolás Castillo: blaming “hackers” after an image appeared on his Instagram showing referee José Peñaloza with a clown emoji pasted over his face. Coach David Patiño said Castillo - fined last year for ridiculing a different referee on Instagram - “tells us he did not do it”.

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