According to football finance experts, the 1% NICS increase, introduced last April, was a ‘major blow’ to clubs as an average of 60% of their costs involve players.
Terry Doyle, FD of supporter-owned third division club York City, explained that adding 1% to the already high player wages added to ailing clubs’ difficulties.
‘If the government is looking at an area where it can help us, that is clearly the one,’ he said. ‘Paying no NI or less NI would be very helpful. I would call for it, but whether I get it is a different matter. If it happened, it would be welcomed with open arms.’
Mike Evans, director of the football unit at PKF and auditor for Fulham, Liverpool and Glasgow football clubs, agreed that a reduction in NI would be helpful but added ‘there is no chance it will be cut because other professions have been hit hard’.
He suggested tax breaks through R&D tax credits, zero-rating on VAT for suppliers and capital gains tax relief for club shares. He suggested clubs could take advantage of new tax-exempt corporate entities to be shortly introduced by government.
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