FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

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FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby Darryl Strawberry » 06 May 2015, 18:31

The Football Association tried to impose an unofficial quota system on the number of black players an England manager should be allowed to use, according to a new book about racism within the sport.

Pitch Black, written by Emy Onuora, includes a passage in which one of the sport’s leading anti-racism campaigners claims Graham Taylor admitted to him he had been summoned by two members of the FA’s hierarchy and told “in no uncertain terms” he should not go beyond a certain limit.

There is absolutely no suggestion that Taylor, with a long history of working with some of England’s leading black players over the past 30 years, adhered to this policy but the book recounts him saying there were senior figures trying to put pressure on him to keep the team predominantly white.

Taylor is said to have revealed this during a function at Watford’s ground during the 1999-2000 season when Richie Moran was the guest speaker. Moran, a Birmingham City player in the 1990s who eventually quit the game because of the racial abuse he suffered, recalls in the book: “Graham Taylor came up to me and said: ‘Look, I’m going to tell you something … I’m never going to admit it, I will be sued for libel.’ He said: ‘When I was manager of England I was called in by two members of the FA, who I won’t name …’ I volunteered two names. He said: ‘I’m not prepared to say, but I was told in no uncertain terms not to pick too many black players for the national side.’”

This also ties in with a Kick It Out function on its 10th anniversary in 2004, attended by Taylor, when it was reported that a former England manager had revealed the same conversation to other guests but declined to go public.

Taylor has been made aware of the book and told the Guardian he could not specifically remember the conversation with Moran. “That is not me trying to evade it – and it also doesn’t mean I didn’t say it – but if anyone looks at my record with club and country it would be obvious to everyone anyway that I didn’t follow what was apparently said. If anyone looks at my record, I could never be accused of blocking the way for any black player.”



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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby Minnie the Minx » 06 May 2015, 22:14

Yeah - just read this with my fingers over my eyes. Unreal.
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby fire and fueryIre » 07 May 2015, 09:17

That would have been in the era of the rather fogeyish Bert Millichip - famously dismissed as Bert the Inert (BTI) by most fans at the time - and Graham Kelly.

While one can see the blimpish BTI having such outmoded attitudes, I know very little about Kelly - anyone care to elaborate?

Apart from the usual brickbats about his unsuitability as England manager and insights gleaned from the infamous "Do I Not Like That" doc, the little I know about Graham T would seem indicate that he is a pretty principled man. Would imagine he is probably very aggreived that some (presumably) off-the-record remarks he made years ago have been dredged up. Again, am quite happy to stand corrected if anyone knows more...
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby Diamond Dog » 07 May 2015, 10:09

He's denied it today.
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby Jeemo » 07 May 2015, 12:39

Diamond Dog wrote:He's denied it today.


So has Phil Neal ..........
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby Rayge » 07 May 2015, 13:24

It was probably a ruse to stop him picking Carlton Palmer
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby fire and fueryIre » 07 May 2015, 14:06

Jeemo wrote:
Diamond Dog wrote:He's denied it today.


So has Phil Neal ..........


I remember Phil Neal from the documentary. While the word intelligence doesn't seem quite right, he was shrewd enough to keep his gob shut.

Briefly managed or was a caretaker at Coventry - one of the worst the Sky Blues have had - and given they have had a disastrous chain of roughly 15 managers in the last 15 years that's saying something
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby Minnie the Minx » 08 May 2015, 18:06

I don't know what to make of it. Chiefly I don't understand what's to be gained of saying this story is true, if it isn't?
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby bhoywonder » 15 May 2015, 15:35

Diamond Dog wrote:He's denied it today.


I read a story with the headline saying he'd denied it, but when I read the story, he denied acting on it, and was very vague about whether the suggestion was ever put to him. Has he denied that it was ever suggested to him? I don't believe for one minute he acted on it, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn it had been put to him, off the record.

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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby 'skope » 15 May 2015, 19:14

bhoywonder wrote:I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn it had been put to him, off the record.


why?

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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby fire and fueryIre » 15 May 2015, 20:36

'skope wrote:
bhoywonder wrote:I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn it had been put to him, off the record.


why?


One would imagine that if the allegations had been put to him on the record with any reply he made attributable to him in any subsequent publication, he would have issued a flat "no comment" in order to distance himself from those further up the greasy pole at the FA who might well have suggested/issued such instructions .
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby 'skope » 15 May 2015, 20:55

i just cannot believe that this story is being given any credence. taylor may well have been one of the worse England managers, but by Christ i refuse to believe that he was implicit with such claims.

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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby fire and fueryIre » 16 May 2015, 08:53

'skope wrote:i just cannot believe that this story is being given any credence. taylor may well have been one of the worse England managers, but by Christ i refuse to believe that he was implicit with such claims.


Assume you mean complicit rather than implicit (hey, it was Friday night!) but there is no suggestion in the original article other than that the suggestion was made to GT rather than he personally initiated or even considered acting upon it
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby 'skope » 16 May 2015, 08:59

yes, i meant complicit :D

if taylor has denied that the conversation took place, then that's good enough for me.

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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby fire and fueryIre » 16 May 2015, 12:02

'skope wrote:yes, i meant complicit :D

if taylor has denied that the conversation took place, then that's good enough for me.


Useless England manager but apparently a very decent man - he is or used to be a prison visitor in his spare time
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby Diamond Dog » 17 May 2015, 19:55

fueryhk(redux) wrote:
'skope wrote:yes, i meant complicit :D

if taylor has denied that the conversation took place, then that's good enough for me.


Useless England manager but apparently a very decent man - he is or used to be a prison visitor in his spare time


Jimmy Savile used to do hospital work for nothing too.....
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby 'skope » 17 May 2015, 20:34

:roll:

really, pete?

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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby Diamond Dog » 17 May 2015, 21:14

'skope wrote::roll:

really, pete?


Yes he really did, Adam.

Don't you read the news out in Spain?
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby fire and fueryIre » 18 May 2015, 08:03

Diamond Dog wrote:
fueryhk(redux) wrote:
'skope wrote:yes, i meant complicit :D

if taylor has denied that the conversation took place, then that's good enough for me.


Useless England manager but apparently a very decent man - he is or used to be a prison visitor in his spare time


Jimmy Savile used to do hospital work for nothing too.....



While rumours were swirling around about Savile for many years, can't recall ever hearing one about GT - although would be happy to be corrected if I am wrong.

Although GT may have been one of the shittiest of the shit managers the English national team has attracted post 1990, hardly seems worth smearing the poor man for the sake of a cheap and not especially funny joke.
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Re: FA told Graham Taylor not to pick too many black players for England

Postby bhoywonder » 18 May 2015, 09:00

'skope wrote:if taylor has denied that the conversation took place, then that's good enough for me.


That's what I was asking – has he denied the conversation taking place? The only denial I saw was him denying that he acted on the instruction, followed by vague dismissals. To reiterate, I don't for one second think of Taylor as having acted inappropriately, but I'm curious as to whether he's denied that there were ever conversations about the number of black players. Has he denied this?