South­gate caught up in tax avoid­ance dis­pute

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Eng­land in­terim man­ager Gareth South­gate is among hun­dreds of rich clients caught up in a multi-mil­lion­pound tax avoid­ance dis­pute with Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties, a news­pa­per re­ported Fri­day, on the eve of his first match in charge.

South­gate in­vested in two part­ner­ships set up by a film in­vest­ment fund, In­ge­nious, which is ac­cused by Her

Gareth South­gate

Majesty’s Rev­enue and Cus­toms (HMRC) of be­ing part of an elab­o­rate scheme to avoid pay­ing tax, the Daily Mir­ror said.

A source close to the for­mer Eng­land player told AFP he made the in­vest­ments in 2004 in good faith and would not chal­lenge any tax de­mand that might arise when the case was re­solved.

But the tim­ing is em­bar­rass­ing for the 46-year-old and for the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, the English game’s gov­ern­ing body, as they hope to draw a line un­der for­mer man­ager Sam Al­lardyce’s con­tro­ver­sial exit. South­gate takes charge of Eng­land for the first time in Satur­day’s World Cup qual­i­fier against Malta, barely a fort­night after his pre­de­ces­sor quit in dis­grace after just 67 days and one game at the helm.

Al­lardyce, 61, was se­cretly filmed by un­der­cover re­porters giv­ing advice on how to cir­cum­nav­i­gate trans­fer rules and mock­ing Eng­land pre­de­ces­sor Roy Hodg­son.

Ap­pointed Eng­land man­ager on a £3 mil­lion-a-year con­tract ($3.9 mil­lion, 3.3 mil­lion eu­ros), Al­lardyce also agreed to travel to Sin­ga­pore and Hong Kong as an am­bas­sador for their fic­ti­tious firm for a fee of £400,000.

Ac­cord­ing to the Daily Mir­ror, South­gate is one of about 400 rich clients of In­ge­nious, a movie fi­nanc­ing firm that has backed films such as Avatar but which is ac­cused of cre­at­ing ar­ti­fi­cial losses to help in­vestors avoid tax.

Fol­low­ing a tri­bunal rul­ing ear­lier this year, in­vestors are fac­ing a bill for £434 mil­lion (482 mil­lion eu­ros, $540 mil­lion) in un­paid tax, plus in­ter­est and le­gal fees, ac­cord­ing to the Mir­ror.

In­ge­nious de­nies it op­er­ated as a tax avoid­ance scheme. A spokesman for the FA told AFP: “This is a pri­vate mat­ter.” Mean­while, The Times news­pa­per re­ported that Eng­land cap­tain Wayne Rooney is fac­ing a £3.5 mil­lion tax bill after a sep­a­rate film in­vest­ment part­ner­ship in which he put his money was also ac­cused of tax avoid­ance. “Wayne’s tax af­fairs have al­ways been con­ducted in full com­pli­ance with the law,” a spokesman told the news­pa­per. —AFP

YPANE: Paraguayan na­tional foot­ball team player Os­car Romero (C) con­trols the ball dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion at the Com­plejo Al­biroga train­ing cen­tre in Ypane, near Asun­cion, on Fri­day ahead of their Rus­sia 2018 World Cup qual­i­fier match against Ar­gentina. — AFP

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