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'I've cleared things up with Niall Quinn' - PFA boss Gordon Taylor

The Sunderland director hit out at the perceived lack assistance players get from the Professional Footballers’ Association but has since had a visit from its chief executive.

Quinn was in Dublin for the launch of Dublin Bus 10th Childrens Art Calendar last week.
Quinn was in Dublin for the launch of Dublin Bus 10th Childrens Art Calendar last week.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

AFTER NIALL QUINN’S claims that the Professional Football Association aren’t doing enough for players’ welfare, the organisation’s chief executive Gordon Taylor has attempted to clear up the matter.

During a visit to Dublin, the Sunderland director criticised the PFA for failing to deal adequately with assisting their members in issues such as mental health in light of Gary Speed’s passing.

The former Ireland striker branded a pamphlet which was sent to 4,000 professional footballers recently as a token gesture and called for more measures to be put in place for players coming to terms with the end of their careers, marriage breakdown and bankruptcy.

‘I think the rugby people do it better,” said Quinn. ”I met one of the rugby administrators who told me they have a five-year plan towards the end of rugby players’ careers, that they follow a path to guide them to life after the final whistle. Football doesn’t do that.”

Projects

However, in an effort to rebuild relations, Taylor has met with Quinn to fill him in on a number of projects that the PFA are currently involved with.

“I’ve since talked with Niall, who said he had his own problems when he came out of the game,” Taylor told TheScore.

“I told him about all the good work we do through our councilling service. In fact we were only at Sunderland the other day speaking to the players and are trying to get a hold of Titus Bramble as he has had some personal difficulties recently.”

Taylor added that their continued subsidising of Tony Adams’ Sporting Chance Clinic is one measure they are taking to help players such as Speed and former Rushden and Diamond goalkeeper Dale Roberts, who also took his own life.

He insisted that their plan is a long-term one and called on clubs to take reponsibility.

“We’ve been dealing with mental health issues for quite some time and the booklet was not reactionary to Gary Speed’s death. This problem is not just in football – but throughout society and hopefully it will be a catalyst to encourage more players to come forward and seek help but we would like the clubs to work with us more.”

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