News that a large number of ex-footballers are readying themselves to sue the English Football Association in a group action for dementia-related negligence shouldn’t really come as any surprise.
According to the Daily Mail, the law firm, Rylands Sports Law, who are also acting on behalf of rugby World Cup winner, Steve Thompson, will represent as many as 40 ex-players who want compensation from the FA due to brain injuries that they sustained during their playing careers.
The topic of players heading heavier balls back in the 1960s and 70s has been in the background for some time, and former player, Chris Sutton, has spoken candidly about his ex-footballer father’s battle with the disease, and the lack of compassion, care and funding into the causes from the PFA.
“He’s a shell, he can’t get up, he’s lying there in a nappy,” Sutton told the Daily Mail.
“The difficulty is not knowing what else I can add when I speak about it. Even now, I worry about that. Just repeating myself, to no end.
“Gordon Taylor is an incredible survivor, and he may have done other good things across the PFA but how can he be football’s union boss and allow funding into research to stop?
“In the last two years the PFA charity has earned nearly £54million, almost all from television money, it has paid Gordon Taylor £4,043,090 and fund managers £555,000 — and given £325,000 to dementia and concussion research.
“Yet attack him and it washes off. Gordon will say his mum had dementia and she never headed a football. But that’s not the point. It’s just dismissive.
“Nobody is arguing that there aren’t other forms of the disease, other causes. But he knew about this one and he didn’t flag it up. How he can be in his position still is staggering.”
Thompson is only 42 years of age but recently noted that he can’t even remember winning the World Cup with England in 2003.
His case, and those of his fellow rugby players, will be dealt with first as the law firm believe that there is more of a chance of a winnable case in this instance, per the Daily Mail.
However, we can be assured that families of the ex-footballers will not rest until justice is served.