Soccer player launches site to tackle rip-off rogues

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Middlesbrough defender Andrew Taylor is launching a new website designed to tackle people who try to take advantage of footballers' business dealings.

The site, Platinum Players, goes live on September 1 with a select directory of trusted service providers and what it terms "luxury lifestyle products" – the ones players generally drive or wear.

Britain's 4,000 professional footballers - spanning the journeymen of League Two to Premier League stars - will be sent log-in details for the invitation-only site.

They will pay nothing to use the site, which will be funded by fees and advertising from the companies offering their services and products.

Around 30 companies have so far signed up, including stalwarts of a professional footballers' life, such as Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Harvey Nichols, restaurant chain Nobu and the nightclub Movida.

Taylor, 23, came up with the idea after being dissatisfied with a company that installed an audio system in his home 18 months ago.

He told the BBC: "I had no idea who to call so I basically Googled a local company.

"When they found out I was a footballer, every option they offered me was the most expensive one.

"There are car dealers, for example, who see footballers as a way to make easy money. They'll think: 'He's a young lad with plenty of cash, he won't miss £5,000, let's do him over.'

"This site has people who won't rip you off and that's something nobody else is doing for footballers, as far as I know.

"The idea is not to make money but simply to help players find prestigious brands and companies that are trustworthy."

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