Professional Footballers Association chief executive Gordon Taylor, who has spoken out on the dangers of betting, has gambling debts of more than £100,000, the Sun has reported.
The paper said Taylor, one of the world’s highest-paid union officials with a salary in excess of £1 million, had placed bets worth £4 million over a 30-month period.
His debts and betting patterns became public when telephone bookmakers Best Bet ceased trading in February.
The Sun said Taylor had gambled on sports including football, cricket and horse racing, placing bets of up to £15,000 a time.
It said it had repeatedly contacted the PFA chief, but he had “refused to comment on his betting or to say if he had paid off any debts".
Taylor, speaking in 2003 after Eidur Gudjohnsen revealed he had lost £400,000 in five months through gambling, said: “Gambling is possibly the biggest danger facing our members.
“People talk about drugs and alcohol in football. But there are no random tests for betting, which can easily spiral out of control.”
The PFA has invested in a programme warning young players of the dangers of gambling, and Taylor told the union’s 4,000 members: “With the high profile position players are in comes an added social responsibility.”