Gordon Taylor has been the chief executive of the PFA for 37 years but faces calls to stand down from the position in a bid to modernise the organisation.
The 73-year-old was appointed to the role in 1981 and has since remained the figurehead of the English footballers’ union.
However, his grip on power has recently loosened following a clash with chairman Ben Purkiss, currently a defender for Walsall, who has called upon the PFA to be modernised by measures including an election for the position of CEO. Purkiss has been backed by more than 200 current and former players, according to the Guardian .
It has been Taylor’s salary, however, that has become a major gripe to many.
HOW MUCH DOES GORDON TAYLOR EARN?
Gordon Taylor is the best-paid union official in the UK and, according to several reports, the world. Over the course of 2017, the PFA CEO pocketed an impressive £2.29 million.
Additionally, he gets a £41,250 car allowance, private medical cover worth around £9,000 and other benefits worth £2,800.
His counterpart in the Professional Cricketers’ Association, David Leatherdale, was paid £137,990 last year, while Damian Hopley, who is in charge of the Rugby Players’ Association, earned £134,430.
Further put into context, it is many times greater than the £530,000 that was paid out to players suffering from illness, injuries, mental health and addiction problems last year. This has proven to be the major condemnation of his reign, with critics pointing out that the union is failing to adequately protect its most vulnerable members.
Although footballers at the top level can earn stratospheric sums of money, many more down the pecking order are on a far more modest wage and can find themselves in significant financial hardship if they are touched by bad luck.
The PFA has not responded to questions over the scale of Taylor’s pay packet, although the Guardian has reported that it is pegged to the level an average top-flight manager might earn.
During the 2016-17 tax year, he was given a bonus of £777,183, though again no answer was given by the PFA as to why this figure was so large, although the union did turn a profit of £27.9m.
Criticism aimed at Taylor’s wage is nothing new, with erstwhile Birmingham City chairman David Gold accusing him in 2002 of “building a mausoleum to greed”.
In 2001, he was forced to bat off critics, insisting: “I don’t see why I have to defend it. It is decided by the players as a salary for their union leader.”
Nine years later, he again came under the microscope, stating: “Why is it a problem if you get a good salary because you are a trade union leader as opposed to a captain of industry? Mine pales into insignificance compared to the bankers’.”
DOES HE HAVE OTHER SOURCES OF WEALTH?
He earned a degree in economics from Manchester Metropolitan University and would not have earned significant riches from his playing days.
In 2009, he was given a £700,000 pay out by News International over a phone-hacking scandal, though it was part of a confidentiality agreement that has barred him from speaking about the case.There is no clear indication of his net worth, but according to a report from The Sun , he had earned £12m in the 10 years prior to 2016, which suggests he has earned over £15m since 2006 alone.