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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 20, 2006

PFA boss Taylor wants transfer transparency

Gordon Taylor hopes Panorama's investigation into football's alleged bung culture will lead to greater 'clarity' and 'transparency' in the transfer market.

Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, believes agents should have their fees paid by the players - not the clubs - in a bid to stop the system potentially being abused.

And he called for a strict clampdown on the practice of agents 'hawking' teenage players around different clubs.

Taylor said: 'The broad issue for the future is to have much greater clarity and transparency, as the Football League and the Premier League have been trying to arrange.

'Any paperwork connected with the transfer of a player must be properly submitted to the FA and any payments to agents must come purely from the player - rather than the clubs.

'With the Premier League inquiry and the publicity surrounding this programme, there is every chance things will have to be even more transparent in the future.

'That's no bad thing for the image of the game.

'If payments to agents are to come purely from the player it should help eliminate the alleged abuses of the past and the potential for exploitation.

'Obviously this does not meet with the agreement of the majority of agents.

'But it has to be better for the game in general and not least the player if he knows exactly what amounts are changing hands in connection with his transfer.

'This way he won't be hit with an unexpected tax bill later, which has been a problem for many players as a result of the club alone paying the agent.'

Taylor explained one unseen pitfall his members often face after a transfer comes from the taxman.

If clubs pay a fee to the players' agent, this is viewed by the Inland Revenue as a payment in kind to the player, who is then hit with an unexpected tax demand.

Taylor said: 'The players are what the game is about and at the moment they find themselves stuck in the maelstrom amid all the complicated manoeuvres of a transfer.'

Panorama's investigation showed Middlesbrough teenager Nathan Porritt being offered to Newcastle, Chelsea and Liverpool by agent Peter Harrison.

And the chief executive of the players' union insists this is a practice which needs to be stopped.

Taylor said: 'The game must also deal with the serious social problem of agents hawking young players around nationally and internationally at increasingly younger ages.

'It needs to be strictly controlled by the authorities.'