Schmeichel: PFA must stop doing car deals and help troubled Gascoigne

The former England midfielder's agent says the 45-year-old needs help 'immediately' after turning to alcohol again, and Manchester United's former keeper says the PFA must step in
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has called on the Professional Footballers' Association to help troubled star Paul Gascoigne after the 45-year-old broke down on stage on Thursday.

The former England midfielder suffered the set-back at a charity event, prompting his agent Terry Baker to say he needs medical help "immediately" after lapsing in his recovery from alcoholism.

And Schmeichel believes the PFA must step up and help Gascoigne "instead of getting great deals on cars & other luxury goods for members."

The Dane Tweeted on Sunday morning: "This is not fun watching. Gazza needs help. Come on PFA & Gordon Taylor, time to step up.

"We are all responsible for how we live our lives," he continued. "But that doesn't mean we can't step in and help, and I think the footballing community, as the family we at times claim to be, must do more to help Gazza and others like him.

"Instead of getting great deals on cars & other luxury goods for members, PFA should commit more time and funds to help the like of Gazza.

"So what if he's had help before and has messed it up, does that mean that we just give up on him?"

The former Tottenham and Lazio midfielder has had numerous problems with depression and alcoholism since retiring from the game in 2004 - and Schmeichel says the PFA need to support him at a critical time.

"We have a very wealthy PFA, the whole idea of PFA is to look after the interest of members. Members are high-profile people, often very young, living in a world with dangers and temptations that are no good for their profession.

"[The] PFAs job has to be protection from all this, make them better pros, and if they get into trouble, help and support them so they can get out. I also know from the inside that the public only know a fraction of it.

"There is always a 'right' time to start doing something, with what we've seen from Gazza today, time has come for football."

Gascoigne - affectionately known as "Gazza" throughout his career - made 58 appearances for England, scoring 10 times for the national side.