Mancini paid ‘secret’ £1.75m wage from City
Manchester City could face questions from HM Revenue and Customs after it was claimed they secretly doubled manager Roberto Mancini’s salary by funnelling £1.75 million into an offshore account.
Tax inspectors are said to be keeping a close watch after City were accused of manipulating their wage bill by paying Mancini £1.45million as his base salary in 2011, while also rewarding him even more handsomely as an adviser for another club owned by Sheikh Mansour.
In the latest chapter in the Football Leaks series, City are also accused of striking a legally-binding third-party player-ownership deal to cream off the best African talent from a Danish feeder club. In the agreement signed on May 26, 2016, Tom Vernon, the British president of FC Nordsjaelland, is alleged to have committed his club to giving up West African talents from the club’s lauded Right to Dream Academy in Ghana.
The alleged agreement, detailed in Danish newspaper Politiken, will spark speculation that striker Mohammed Kudus, one of the greatest talents in the Danish Superliga, will now transfer to City for free. Confronted with the allegations yesterday, Vernon told German magazine Der Spiegel: “We are confident that we are in compliance with all relevant football regulations.”
Throughout this week, Der Spiegel has published claims City hid some of their spending in order to avoid Uefa’s Financial Fair Play sanctions.
Der Spiegel claims Mancini signed two contracts on the same day, one for City and the other as a £1.75 million adviser to the Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club in Abu Dhabi, paid into an offshore shell company in Mauritius called Sparkleglow Holdings. There is no suggestion Mancini has done anything wrong.
Nick Hall, a football tax expert with Manchesterbased Hacker Young Chartered Accountants, said: “I would be very surprised if the HMRC wasn’t now looking at the Football Leaks. Some of the payments are very convoluted at best.”
HMRC last month launched a clampdown on tax avoidance in football, and has confirmed it is “making inquiries into 171 footballers, 44 clubs and 31 agents for a range of issues”.