The Professional Football Association has offered its “full support” to Gordon Taylor following allegations that its chief executive has amassed gambling debts of more than £100,000.
The Sun reported on Wednesday that Taylor, who has spoken out on the dangers of gambling in the past, has placed bets worth £4 million over a 30-month period.
However, although the allegations appear to jeopardise his position at the head of the union, the PFA has moved to back Taylor in a statement released on Thursday.
"The management committee are aware of the recent press allegations regarding Gordon Taylor," the statement read. "Whilst this is a private matter for Gordon, he has informed us that this dispute has been in the hands of lawyers for some time. For that reason, it would be inappropriate for us to comment specifically. We have discussed this with him and he has our full support.
"We recognise that gambling is part of our culture and part of football and it is for that reason that the PFA remains committed to continue in its work to raise awareness levels and educate."
Taylor, who has yet to comment on the matter, is one of the world’s highest-paid union officials with a salary in excess of £1 million, and has been in his current role since 1981.
If true, the allegations would prove to be something of an embarrassment for the PFA chief, who has spoken on numerous occasions about the perils of gambling for modern footballers.
Speaking in 2003 after Eidur Gudjohnsen revealed he had lost £400,000 in five months through gambling, Taylor said: “Gambling is possibly the biggest danger facing our members. People talk about drugs and alcohol in football. But there are no random tests for betting, which can easily spiral out of control.”