Ribble Valley resident Gordon Taylor has warned that FIFA, football’s world governing body, could be beyond reform in the wake of the Sepp Blatter era of controversy and corruption.
“We cannot and must not leave a vacuum in FIFA to be filled with the same toxic problems as before,” said the Professional Footballers’ Union leader.
“It is going to need a quantum step for FIFA to reform, rather than fiddling while football burns.
“FIFA’s motto is ‘For the Good of the Game’, but they haven’t been good for the game and they’ve lost respect.
“Of course they are not all bad, but football has been badly tarnished by people who’ve been put in responsible positions and have abused their power.
“As a result, a lot of football’s wealth has not gone to the grassroots of the game, and instead we learn those precious funds have gone into private, secret accounts.
Taylor added: “The future of the game, in terms of good governance, is on very thin ice.
“The time has come to clean out the corruption because the biggest and best game in the world deserves a lot better.”
The world’s governing body has been engulfed by claims of widespread corruption since last summer.
And since then, Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini were both handed eight-year bans from all football related activities by FIFA.
Now the Professional Footballer’s Association leader has called for a new era of openness ahead of the election of FIFA’s next president in Zurich later this month.
Taylor, who is also the honorary president of the world players’ union FIFPro and enjoyed a two year spell with Blackburn Rovers in the 1970s, added: “There are enough ethical people out there to make sure the job’s done properly.
“A game for players about players has not been run by players and we are now seeing the results.
“The way the World Cup venues have been chosen, for example, must change so that the process is transparent, fair and not wasting millions in a sham contest for venues laced with corruption.”