A new book is about to be released in which it claims former England manager Graham Taylor said that the FA instructed him not to pick too many black players during his time in charge of the Three Lions in the early 90s, The Sun reports.
The sensational claims have been made as part of a new book about racism in football, and Taylor has threatened legal action over the allegations that he was told by two FA big wigs that he should enforce an unofficial racial quota.
The book, Pitch Black, is released on Friday, alleges that Taylor informed ex-Watford star Richie Moran about the conversation at an event back in the 1999-2000 season.
But despite his threats of legal action, there is no evidence that Taylor followed the directive, having consistently picked black players to represent the country on numerous occasions.
Moran, who actually retired from the game due to the racist abuse he suffered said: “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’.”
There are also similar claims made during a Kick It Out function from 2004, which was also attended by Taylor, suggesting that a former England manager revealed the same conversation to guests but not going public with it.
“I’m going to have to take legal advice about it,” Taylor said.
“That’s all I can do. I can’t see any alternative.
“I have no memory of speaking to these people. They never contacted me about the book.
“I am so annoyed and disturbed about it.
“I’m sure I would have remembered if the FA had actually told me not to select black players.
“Surely it’s something I’d have remembered. No member of the FA said that to me.
“Nobody from the FA ever said to me during my time as England manager, ‘Do not pick many black players’.
“I am hurt and upset about it.
“If you are going to publish a book then why not phone me up first and tell me what you are going to do? I don’t like it.
“If anyone looks at my record with club and country it would be obvious to everyone that I didn’t follow what was apparently said.
“I could never be accused of blocking the way for any black player.
“I have no memory of that conversation.
“The FA were never involved in the team selection at all — whether it was white or black players.
“I support Kick It Out and I attended a couple of the functions but I would never say I’d been told not to pick too many black players.
“My beliefs are not like that at all.
“My record as regards the selection of black players at international and at club level is there for people to see.
“To have my name linked with that kind of thing is completely wrong.”
The FA have so far declined to comment.