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By ESPN Staff

PFA chief defends level of player salaries

Players' chief Gordon Taylor has hit back at sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe, insisting players deserve their share of football's vast wealth.

Sutcliffe yesterday branded Chelsea and England skipper John Terry's wages 'obscene', but Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, believes he should be more concerned with backing this country's top sporting stars.

'I find it an incredible statement coming from a sports minister,' he told BBC Radio Four's Today programme.

'We're talking about paying millions to have an Olympics or World Cup here in England, but if we're not careful we're not even going to have the sportsmen and women to do ourselves justice.

'He should be pleased that we've got a lad here who's managed to break through in a world when there's a massive amount of foreign players, and he's proved himself one of the very best in the world.'

Taylor added: 'Is he going to have a go at Lewis Hamilton's money, Jonny Wilkinson's money? He should be supporting sports people who have that incentive for youngsters who take up sport to reach that level.

'Every labourer is worth his hire and Mr Abramovich (Chelsea owner) thinks he's worth it. More than half of that money goes to the Government in tax.

'There's so much money coming into the game, surely it's only fair that they get their share of that?'

Taylor has also criticised calls for a salary cap to be introduced and believes it would simply breed corruption in the game.

'If you want to have salary caps, that will lead to under-the-counter payments,' he claimed.