Money laundering and tax evasion hits football

The football sector is used for money laundering, according to government
agency Financial Action Task Force, and footballers have evaded tax with their
clubs’ knowledge.

Its report into money laundering found football was at risk of criminal
involvement in buying clubs and players, and betting.

Two instances of tax evasion are also flagged in the report.

One player disclosed that part of his signing on fee was disguised by paying
it to the agent, who then paid it back to the player offshore, evading tax. The
club also avoided NI of £38,000.

The next instance saw a club pay up nearly £1m to the taxman after a player
transferred his image rights into an offshore company in which the club paid
into. He was the only player in the club with such rights, and the club had
failed to exploit his image. The club conceded the rights agreement was part of
the employment terms and paid the tax due.

Further reading:

the FATF’s report here

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