English football is facing another major crisis as Football Leaks releases more information on the tax affairs of the biggest names in the game including Jose Mourinho.
The recent revelations about child abuse has cast a light on the murkier side of the game with the finances of the biggest figures set for equal attention.
Tax issues involving the biggest names in the game are the heart of Football Leaks with English publishers happy to chase up on the tax issues involving big names at the biggest clubs. It seems that massive payments are being made to offshore accounts for image rights to reduce the tax liability paid through normal salaries.
The Sunday Times has secured the UK rights to Phase 2 of the Football Leaks with it’s News International stable-mate The Sun running with the allegations.
It reports: “The Football Leaks consortium claims to have evidence that clubs around the world have made secret payments to players to get around tax or competition rules.
“Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and Arsenal ace Mesut Ozil have all been accused of tax avoidance.”
Responding to the claims UEFA said: “Non compliance with Financial Fair Play rules can ultimately lead to exclusion from Uefa club competitions although there is a range of less severe sanctions as well.
“Regarding payments made by clubs to players, UEFA expects them to be disclosed in a truthful and transparent manner since they are a key element of FPP monitoring.
“UEFA club licensing rules also require that clubs should not have outstanding payments to social and ta authorities as a condition of obtaining a UEFA license.”
The Sun report adds: “ Sections T.13 and T.20 of the league’s rulebook require full disclosure of all contractual payments to players, including image rights deals.”
In 2000 Rangers (IL) failed to declare the full earnings of Tore Andre Flo and Ronald de Boer to the SFA and the SPL for fear of alerting the tax authorities.
No one at either football authority seemed to bat an eyelid at players coming to Ibrox from Chelsea and Barcelona were on contracts half of what Chris Sutton was earning from Celtic following his transfer from Chelsea in July 2000.
When that matter became The Wee Tax Case the club was hit with a £2.8m tax bill which was never paid.
No football sanction was applied to Rangers (IL) for the games played by Flo and de Boer.
In 2012 Rangers (IL) were fined £250,000 for over a decade of failing to disclose players earnings through EBT schemes, four years later Sevco paid the fine with no other sanctions applied.