UK misses out on top footballers – and tax

The UK is losing out on a string of talented foreign footballers and millions
of pound in tax revenue as a result of unfavourable tax rules.

Roy Saunders, of International Fiscal Services, the international tax
consultancy, has said that a host of foreign stars could have come to play in
the UK but are deterred by UK tax rules.

Constructing a ‘dream team’ of stars including Figo and Ronaldinho, Saunders
estimated that the loss to the exchequer was nearly £20m.

English clubs would have to pay £100,000 to pay a football star £50,000 net
after tax. A Spanish club would only have to pay £66,000, Saunders said.

Saunders said: ‘Gordon Brown needs to relax tax laws surrounding sports stars
in order to attract the top flight of the sporting world to live and play in
Britain. When this happens, English clubs will be able to afford players of
Figo’s and Ronaldinho’s calibre during their prime as opposed to their swansong,
helping the Premiership challenge the Spanish Primera as the most admired in the

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