Gordon Taylor complains of 'tribalism' by clubs involved in racism controversies
Taylor explained in an exclusive interview how the antipathy felt between Liverpool and Manchester United, and Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers prevented conciliation by the players’ union.
Both on-pitch incidents escalated into scandals that, after 30 years of progress in tackling racism, have left English football's image in tatters.
The Football Association is still weighing up whether to charge Terry for using racist language. He admitted doing so to a court, although on July 13 the judge cleared him of a racially aggravated public-order offence after accepting it was “possible” Terry believed Anton Ferdinand had used the same language first.
Taylor believes both matters could have been resolved out of the public eye.
“I tried to put [the players] together but I found that very difficult to do without the backing of the clubs,” said Taylor.
“The minute that both occasions happened I was in touch with the clubs and the players and immediately it was extremely difficult. It is tribal and they were putting the wagons round.
“The problem lies in the fact that players are not just human beings but players of value belonging to a club and [the clubs] feel they owe the players loyalty and need to be united and solid.
"If the club is not seen to defend them when they’re in trouble they’ve got themselves into a difficult position.”
Taylor leads arguably the most inclusive and diverse management structure in all of sports administration: four management-committee members and four of its trustees are from black or minority-ethnic backgrounds has been caught up in the row.
Several senior black players feel let down by their union and there is even talk of setting up a rival organisation for the black and minority-ethnic players.
But Taylor insists the PFA immediately condemned Liverpool players and coaching staff for wearing white T-shirts in a public show of support for Suárez, who was banned for eight matches after repeatedly using a racist term towards the United defender Patrice Evra.
When the two clubs met again at Old Trafford, Suárez refused to shake Evra’s hand in the pre-match show of respect.
“We condemned the T-shirts, and we felt it put Glen Johnson in an extremely difficult position,” added Taylor.
“When you had the embarrassment of the handshake at Old Trafford we had to make sure the owners were involved because it impacted on the image of the game throughout the world.”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/9421975/Exclusive-Gordon-Taylor-complains-of-tribalism-by-clubs-involved-in-racism-controversies.html