Quinn wants tax scheme for sports fa­cil­i­ties

The Irish Times - - Business Today - MARK PAUL Busi­ness Af­fairs Cor­re­spon­dent

Niall Quinn, the for­mer Ire­land foot­ball in­ter­na­tional and one-time chair­man of Sun­der­land, has called on the Gov­ern­ment to in­tro­duce a tax in­cen­tive scheme to en­cour­age de­vel­op­ers to build youth sports acad­e­mies.

Mr Quinn was speak­ing at a lunch in Dublin yesterday for the As­so­ci­a­tion of Char­tered and Cer­ti­fied Ac­coun­tants.

“There is an op­por­tu­nity for Gov­ern­ment to cre­ate the right en­vi­ron­ment for busi­nesses and in­vestors to de­velop sports acad­e­mies and fa­cil­i­ties in the same way that the con­struc­tion of ho­tels and nurs­ing homes were en­cour­aged through prop­erty-based tax­a­tion mea­sures,” said Mr Quinn.

Celtic Tiger

Suc­ces­sive Ir­ish gov­ern­ments dur­ing the Celtic Tiger years en­cour­aged in­vest­ment in nurs­ing homes and ho­tels, with schemes that al­lowed de­vel­op­ers to set off much of the de­vel­op­ment costs against rental in­come from other prop­er­ties. “I be­lieve that such tax schemes could kick-start con­struc­tion in an area that would not only sup­port the qual­ity of our sports peo­ple but also en­hance com­mu­nity in­te­gra­tion, co­he­sion and in­clu­siv­ity.”

Mr Quinn said that dur­ing his ca­reer as a pro­fes­sional foot­baller in Eng­land, he had wit­nessed the pos­i­tive im­pact that sports acad­e­mies and sim­i­lar fa­cil­i­ties could have on lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“I have seen the dif­fer­ence that the avail­abil­ity of sports acad­e­mies can make in the de­vel­op­ment of young peo­ple and how it en­ables them to grow and de­velop lead­er­ship char­ac­ter­is­tics. Suit­able sports acad­e­mies and fa­cil­i­ties here in Ire­land would en­able young sports peo­ple to de­velop their skills at home with­out the need to go abroad.”

Con­struc­tion boom

He added that while build­ing sports fa­cil­i­ties is “not a key Gov­ern­ment com­mit­ment, it should be”. Ja­son Mur­phy, the chair­man of ACCA’s Le­in­ster branch, said the Gov­ern­ment could kick-start build­ing of sports fa­cil­i­ties by fol­low­ing the “blue­print” of the “tried and tested tax in­cen­tive schemes from the last con­struc­tion boom. Mr Quinn played for clubs in­clud­ing Arse­nal, Manch­ester City and Sun­der­land dur­ing his pro­fes­sional ca­reer.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: JUSTIN MAC INNES

Niall Quinn with Ja­son Mur­phy of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Char­tered and Cer­ti­fied Ac­coun­tants yesterday.

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