For all the good Gordon Taylor has done for British footballers his lack of action on dementia has left him with no other choice but to go

In his early tenure as PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor was the man who dragged football into the modern era.

As the game has moved on again it is Taylor who is being left behind, and now, after years of calls, he’s finally called time with the organisation.

And now is the right time to go.

Taylor has taken an awful lot of flack over the years and has been dogged by the issue of dementia in football that he has refused to deal with properly.

As the man whose organisation represents players, he should have taken the lead on all of this.

He should have done it after Jeff Astle’s family fought tooth and nail for something to be done.

He didn’t. You’d even think he’d take the lead after the latest sad news about Sir Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles.

But he said in the Daily Mail in recent weeks: “Why is it the PFA’s job to tackle dementia?”

That was the final nail in the coffin of a man who was already set to leave at some point, but has now accelerated his own exit.

The former professional took over the PFA in 1981, and pioneered moves such as introducing non contributory pension schemes, the YTS scheme for 16 to 18 year old players, and securing deals with the Premier League worth millions of pounds.

He was handed an OBE in 2008 but in the years that followed he was followed by spells of controversy.

He was forced to issue a public apology after comparing the Ched Evans rape case in 2015 to the Hillsborough disaster.

After being taken to task numerous times by Dawn Astle, the daughter of former West Brom striker Geoff, he agreed to meet her but she walked out, critising the PFA chief for his lack of action on the issue.

Then Taylor agreed to stand down at the end of a review into the organisation, but this week announced he will walk away at the end of the season.

Like I have said at the top of this opinion piece, Taylor has done good.

He pushed for the adoption of the Rooney Rule, to increase the number of BAME coaches in the game.

But other stories that have hit the headlines have surrounded Taylor’s salary, his large gambling debts and the PFA’s lack of funds put into the dementia issue.

He’s been clinging on for a while now and he probably knows it.

Around 300 high profile former and current players wrote an open letter calling for Taylor to go in November 2018 after a dispute with PFA chairman Ben Purkiss.

Exactly two years later he’s set to leave.

Personally I’ve spoken to players who have benefitted from schemes and funding from the PFA, to help them with life after football.

Then equally I’ve heard of players who have paid into the pot their whole careers and never had anything in return.

I’m sure there are people out there who think Taylor has done a good job.

In certain aspects, he has done.

But a lot of the good was a very long time ago.

Everything comes to an end and the lack of action over the dementia issue has ultimately led to him having to walk.

He had no other choice.

He will leave a legacy for that work in the earlier part of his tenure, but many people won’t remember that.

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