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"If you want some accessible but informative insight into football then I suggest you couldn't do better than the Political Economy of Football website, which is not only intelligible but comes with the added bonus of being written by Addicks fan Wyn Grant."
Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme



Premier League boosts economy

There's a certain amount of boosterism going on in this report from Ernst & Young on the economic contribution of the Premier League and it would be interesting to check some of the methodology.  For example, do the figures on tax treat VAT in gross or net terms?

Foreign ownership creates opportunities for tax avoidance

Almost one in three Premier and Football League clubs are now owned overseas and this detailed report argues that it creates potential opportunities for tax avoidance, particularly when clubs are sold.  Football clubs, it is argued, are treated as speculative business opportunities.

Players face big tax demands

More than 100 football players are facing big tax demands from HM Revenue and Customs to pay back tax reliefs which the tax authorities claim constituted a form of tax avoidance.   Not all the players were big earners and some face bankruptcy or losing their homes.

Funding problems for Spanish clubs

Almeria are having difficulty in funding a new training complex as Spanish banks are reluctant to lend money to clubs because of their high level of debt.

Almeria president Alfonso Garcia also complains about the high level of tax that Spanish clubs have to pay given the extent to which they contribute to Spain's international profile. He is also upset by the way in which the tax authorities chase unpaid debts, but this is hardly surprising given Spain's problems.

Bulls get another reprieve

The long drawn out saga of Hereford United has seen the club given another seven days by the High Court to sort out its financial affairs and pay its debts.  

The club says that new investment is coming in, but the question is whether it is happening quickly enough given that Revenue and Customs want the £170,000 they are owed.   The former management team is also owed money.  It is evident that the patience of the court is wearing thin.

Bulls on the Brink

Hereford United, expelled from the Conference and playing in the Southern Premier League, are once again on the verge of going out of business.

The Bulls tried to agree a Company Voluntary Arrangement with creditors, but there was insufficient support.  In particular, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, which is owed £170,000, refused to agree. For some time now the tax authorities have lost their patience with football clubs them using them as a free credit card at the expense of other taxpayers.

Former Arsenal director's big tax saving

In 2011 Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith sold her 15.9 per cent stake in Arsenal to Stan Kroenke for £116m. She had been the third biggest shareholder in the club.

Her husband is the son of the former Arsenal director Sir Guy Bracewell-Smith who was on the club's board of directors from 1953 to 1976.   His father, Sir Bracewell Smith, was the club chairman from 1949-62 in the days when grandees rather than wealthy foreigners graced the boards of élite clubs such as Arsenal, its quality eptiomised by the marble halls of Highbury.

Cardiff given final tax bill deadline

Cardiff City have been given a final deadline of 5 May, three days after the end of the season, to settle their debts to the taxman,  The club faced their third winding-up order yesterday over a £1.9m debt to Revenue and Customs.   For HMRC Matthew Smith argued that the club should be wound up immediately as it was 'plainly insolvent'.   Half of the remaining £1.7m was paid on Tuesday, but the HMRC counsel said that this was onl

Taxman loses patience with football

As has been evident for some time, the taxman has been losing patience with football and has not been allowing clubs to run up big PAYE bills but is asking them to pay promptly like other taxpayers.   This is not surprising when one considers that HM Revenue and Customs has lost an estimated £30m from clubs going into administration and failing to pay all the tax they owe.  

Tax Crackdown on Football Clubs

We have been talking for a few weeks on this page about a tougher stance by Revenue and Customs towards football clubs who do not pay their tax debts (which is at the expense of taxpayers in general). It's pleasing to see that the Financial Times has now picked up on the story and has produced a report that exhibits the thoroughness and balance that is characteristic of the Pink 'Un.