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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Taylor laughs off Barton Twitter rant

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has laughed off the Twitter rant by Joey Barton which called for him to resign and labelled him "a fat, festering old king".

• PFA announces anti-racism initiative
• Taylor: Contracts can deal with racism

Barton, currently on loan with Marseille, vented his fury at Taylor's handling of the recent racism issues in the game and explained his opposition to the possibility of a breakaway union specifically for black players.

"My gut feeling is thats its a opportunistic move by some with hidden agendas to cease [seize] control for their own gains," Barton wrote. "Gordon Taylor, the, or one of the highest paid union bosses in the world, has got it too easy. I concur its time for him to go. Maybe the Union leader should be democratically voted for every few years by the union members?

"Anything's better than breaking away. That should only be the final resort. Taylor's got too fat and greedy. And protects his cushy position but there are some good people within the PFA...

"Taylor's like a fat, festering old king. Too drunk on power or wine to notice that his meal is a rotting corpse of maggots. Time to go GT!"

However, Taylor insists that Barton is taking his revenge for his failure to support him after his sending off - and subsequent 11-match ban - when playing for Queens Park Rangers at Manchester City in the last game of the season.

Indeed, Taylor told ESPN that he was confronted by Barton over the red card incident and told him that his "credibility" would have been compromised had he supported his actions on that day.

"Perhaps he is right, I need to get to the gym more often, but I am pretty busy these days!" Taylor joked. "Joey can say what he likes - I've got a thick skin. The union put in time, effort and money in trying to help Joey, but we fell out over what he did at Manchester City.

"It could have cost Manchester City the title, it could have cost QPR their status in the Premier League, but he also talked about how he tried to get Manchester City players sent off with him. He confronted me about my comments but I told him my credibility was at stake if I had tried to defend the indefensible.

"We spent money on him because we tried to help him at the Sporting Chance Clinic with anger management, and people spent hours and hours with him to try to get him back on track. I will have to live with it. If he chooses to have a go at me, it's part of the job, but I can only stand up and be counted by what I do and say."

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