Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chief executive Gordon Taylor has hit back at FA chairman Greg Clarke’s “diversionary” claim that the union is letting down survivors of abuse.
Clarke made the allegation during an astonishing exchange with MPs on the Commons sport committee on Wednesday, where he came under sustained criticism for the FA’s handling of the Mark Sampson scandal and its grotesque treatment of Eni Aluko.
Clarke was asked by MPs on the panel to explain a curt email he sent to the PFA last November when the union wrote to him and three other
FA executives with details of allegations made by England striker Aluko against ex-manager Sampson.
The PFA document explained Aluko’s case, providing what it called “incontrovertible evidence” that an internal FA review into her complaint was a “sham” and accused the governing body of sabotaging Aluko’s long England career to protect Sampson.
Clarke replied: “I’ve no idea why you are sending me this. Perhaps you could enlighten me?”
Clarke admitted he had been “abrupt” but alleged the PFA were “destroying his ability” to ensure good governance at the FA by “dragging” him into a matter for his underlings.
Claiming to respect the PFA’s work, Clarke said he would not “take any lessons on governance” from an organisation that pays its chief executive as much as the PFA does while not providing funding for counselling for survivors of football’s child sex abuse scandal.
After the hearing, Clarke claimed the PFA had stopped paying for two survivors’ treatment.
Taylor said: “It’s false and untrue — to say we turned an abused player away is wrong. We’ve never turned anybody away. Why on Earth couldn’t he raise it with me? It’s classic diversionary tactics.”
Former England and Manchester City star David White said that “Clarke’s view of how
the PFA has looked after [child sex abuse] survivors is a million miles removed from my own experience — they have been superb.”