The Jonathan Jackson Column

Sunday 19 May, 2002

Time The PFA Woke Up And Smelt The Coffee

ITV Digital may have gone, but the monkey and his faithful fat sidekick seem to remain alive and well at the helm of the Professional Footballers Association.

I like to think of myself as being of a reasonable level of intelligence, but I can't for the life of me work out how such unintelligent people have managed to become high ranking executives and why they act like the blood brothers of Arthur Scargill anytime they sniff the slightest possibility that someone might upset their grossly overpaid prima donna like members.

Of course the crisis at Valley Parade has brought our neo Neanderthal brothers out with a vengeance, and I realise now where the main inspiration for piss taking magazines like Private Eye comes from!

Take ex middle of the road professional Gordon Taylor, driven perhaps by the fact that he never really achieved much in the game. On Friday he was quoted as saying "Geoffrey Richmond is making a big mistake putting Bradford City into Administration, this will destroy all of his and the club's credibility"

Forgive me for being thick here, but haven't the Administrators been called in because Bradford City is now trading insolvently, which is actually illegal?

He was quickly followed by Mick McGuire (who?) also of the PFA who stated that the PFA would not allow Bradford City to terminate player's contracts, all of which must be honoured"

Perhaps I am being thick again, but from where I sit the termination of contracts will be done by the Administrators, who have the legal power to do just about what they want. Simplistic view it may be, but no club = no income = bankruptcy = expulsion from the league = no way to pay the contracts.

Do the PFA want 25 redundant players or a dozen highly paid redundant players.

These men are mad. There is no other way to describe them.

Do they honestly believe that the likes of Benito Carbone and Ashley Ward actually need to work for a living. Carbone nearly earns as much in 4 days as I earn in year, and Ashley Ward can't be far off the Times Rich list with all the signing on/signing off fees he has banked.

I have no sympathy at all for the loss of their contracts. Bradford City Football Club must survive, if only to bring football back to its senses and stop the greed merchants at the PFA hiking up the money their members earn. If a precedent is set here then so what.

Messrs Taylor and McGuire should take a leaf out of their more intelligent colleague at PFA Towers, Brendan Batson, keep their gobs well and truly shut and accept that the gravy train has been derailed by footballs equivalent of Railtrack, namely the players.

The days of trade unions are gone. The PFA should stick to doing what is supposed to do ie pick up the pieces, help players to re train, and provide low level advise. They are not there to dictate how football clubs should be run and can not over ride the law of the land for the gratification of their members.

At least ITV Digital's collapse has one good side to it... The PFA have lost part of their Golden Goose.

We will survive. Football will learn a lesson. Will the PFA ever learn ?

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