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Taylor a modern footballer rather than a traitor

Photo: John Walton EMPICS Sport/PA

Blog by Sports Correspondent Matthias Kurth

It's English football's transfer deadline day and supporters on both side of the city of Bristol are getting their heads around the biggest, most contentious player deal ever seen. Bristol Rovers star goal scorer and cult hero Matty Taylor swapping the blue and white of Bristol Rovers for the red and white of Bristol City.

There have been plenty of infamous and acrimonious inter-city transfers before - in Glasgow, London, Manchester - but never anything in the West Country quite like this.

But exactly like Mo Johnston, Carlos Tevez, Sol Campbell and other far higher profile players who've crossed city divides before, this too is all about money and nothing to do with loyalty. Or a lack thereof.

The majority of Rovers supporters' initial reaction to the shock news will understandably be anger and betrayal. Refrains like "How could he?!" and "Taylor the traitor" will be doing the rounds in north Bristol. Yet once the dust settles and heads take over from hearts, they'll appreciate the hard fact. By signing for Bristol City the 26 year-old will very probably be doubling his salary and possibly more than that with a six figure signing on fee.

Credit: Nick Potts EMPICS Sport/PA

There is no way that Taylor would have earmarked Bristol City as his preferred destination were he to leave Rovers. And he'll be all too aware of the vitriol this move will stir up within the city he lives. Far from ideal. But now that they have come knocking he can't afford to turn City down. What if Taylor gets injured and another Championship club never comes calling again?

Taylor could and almost did leave the Memorial Stadium in the summer - for nothing - when his last contract expired. He had just achieved a second successive promotion with the club at which he made his name, where he was the main man and roundly adored. So let's say that he agreed to remain a while longer for those reasons (a loyalty of sorts), for guaranteed playing time, a pay rise and to grant Rovers at least some money in the event of a future offer too good to refuse.

Well that time has now come. A public relations disaster for Bristol Rovers and probably for the player too to a lesser extent. He might also have to settle for a place on the bench at Ashton Gate and play considerably less football. He may find himself back in League One next season, irony of ironies, should City fail to escape relegation. It's all a price he's prepared to pay because the bottom line is the bottom line for a sportsman whose career is short-lived.