Football clubs’ ‘super creditor’ status faces red card

A spate of football club collapses would force the government into action on
footballers’ ‘super creditor’ status, experts have predicted.

Concerns emerged after Leeds United players were paid ahead of the club’s
other creditors.

Lawyers acting for the Treasury were said to be considering challenging the
rule to recoup tax from the club, according to reports.

Grant Thornton insolvency partner Joe McLean, who specialises in the football
industry, said the rule could be challenged if a spate of football-related
insolvencies saw the government continually lose out on tax.

‘The rule operates to give what the football industry thinks is a more
disciplined industry. It’s likely to continue, but if there was a spate of
football insolvencies I’d be surprised if [the government] didn’t challenge the
rules,’ he said.

Garry Wilson, a former administrator at Leeds and now partner at turnaround
investment house Endless, said football’s high profile and substantial sums
often owed in tax would push the government to act.

‘All types of administrations have a “ransom creditor” of some sort, but
football’s high profile will see HMRC push on this,’ said Wilson.

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