PFA chief advises Berahino against strike action

Image: SpursWeb

Players’ chief Gordon Taylor has advised Saido Berahino against his strike threat at West Brom.

The Professional Footballers’ Association have offered their help to the Baggies and Berahino following the striker’s suggestion on Twitter he was prepared to down tools after Albion blocked a move to Tottenham on Tuesday.

Chairman Jeremy Peace rejected four bids from Spurs, two on deadline day, and Berahino, who also saw a transfer request turned down last month, suggested on Twitter he would refuse to play for Albion.

His message read: “Sad how i cant say exactly how the club has treated me but i can officially say i will never play Jeremy Peace.”

Berahino has been given until Monday off as West Brom look to take the sting out of the situation but it is understood the England Under-21 international will be disciplined.

The 22-year-old is expected to hold talks with head coach Tony Pulis on his return and Taylor, chief executive of the PFA, wants the matter resolved without any further issues.

“Players know if they come to the end of a contract they have that right to move but if it’s during a contract there are other factors involved and it can’t be taken for granted. It’s always better for players to be playing,” he told Press Association Sport.

“Things can be said in the heat of the moment and contracts work both ways but players need to play and keep fit. The average career is eight years and the biggest worry for any player is to be injured and not be able to play. Hopefully he has an international future as well, so just for the sake of the lad as well as the club we’re hopeful it can be resolved.

“Young men are young men and sometimes things are said which are regretted.

“We’re in a world of social media and a lot of our young players are expected to have old heads on young shoulders and sometimes can let off steam. People get disappointed and sometimes things are done that, on reflection, wouldn’t be out in the public domain and we’re hoping that situation will be understood.

“We have approached the club, we have dealt with them on similar issues in the past, and offered to help resolve the matter, both for the club’s sake and the player’s sake. We’re available to help resolve matters if needed but I’m hoping we won’t be.”

And Taylor believes Berahino can be reintegrated into the Albion squad after being left out for their last three matches by Pulis.

He said: “I hope so, sometimes that’s not always possible but for the most part it is.

“It’s a good experienced manager and a good young player. Maybe because it’s a time with the international fixtures we’re hoping matters can get resolved, everyone moves on and accepts things have not gone as everyone wanted but everybody is still alive and kicking.”

Albion instantly rejected Tottenham’s two bids on Tuesday which were believed to only be marginally better than the north London club’s second offer, made last month, which would have only risen to B#21million with clauses and add-ons.

Press Association Sport understands the Baggies are unhappy with Spurs’ approach to the deal, which only strengthened their resolve to keep Berahino, who scored 20 goals last term, and chairman Peace wants to move on.

“I said selling Saido so late in the window was not on our agenda,” he said in a club statement.

“Tottenham’s offers failed substantially to reflect Saido’s true value while the timing made no allowance for our own recruitment of a suitable replacement for a proven Premier League goalscorer.

“Saido has been unsettled to the point where our head coach has not felt able to select him for our last three games.

“We are now left with the task of repairing the damage created by this unfortunate episode.”

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