June 6, 1964
The Football League, in my opinion, robbed themselves of respect when they scrapped the players’ Provident Fund at their annual meeting in London on Saturday.
Despite a passionate plea from Thomas Valentine Williams (T.V. Williams), chairman of League champions Liverpool, 36 club chairmen voted in favour of killing the fund, which provided a tax free “nest egg” for players. This non contributory scheme for players earning under £2,000 a year began on January 1, 1949, and at first gave players ten per cent, of their total earnings, either at the age of thirty-five or when they retired. Later the amount was whittled down to five per cent.
Eighty per cent of professional players earn less than the limit of £2,000. Most earn under £30 a week.
And it is these bread-and-butter performers who will now demand a fight from the Professional Footballers’ Association. They will get it.
P.F.A. chairman Malcolm Musgrove, Leyton Orient winger, told me last night:
“We will do everything to fight this.
“The League say they will discus it with us now. What’s the use of that when they have already voted it out?”
The League argue that the Provident Fund was theirs to scrap – and they have promised insurance cover that will protect players on and off the field throughout their careers.
But the League surely cannot plead poverty when they are within grasp of another half a million pounds from the pools companies, which I expect them to negotiate today.
(Daily Mirror: by Ken Jones: June 8, 1964)