Tax Returns

It’s probably safe to assume that Donal Macintyre isn’t that much of a football fan. Not because he gives the impression of being someone that hates football, even though his previous dalliance with the game was an expose of the “Chelsea Headhunters” for the BBC. I say this because, if he was familiar with the peculiar way in which football finances work, he would have known that very few people within the surprised at the fact that football clubs sinking into a mire of debt are getting millions of pounds worth of tax money written off as they enter into Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) to save off the threat of liquidation. Macintyre’s “shock” revelation isn’t that much of a shock at all. More than £25m has been written off by HMRC (for our foreign viewers, that’s the taxman) over the last eight years. No part of this is a shock. A CVA is a legally binding agreement between an insolvent company and its creditors to pay off a proportion of its debts and stave off closure. Creditors receive a guarantee of a proportion of their money back – money that would be lost if the company closes. The company gets a guarantee of no further legal action from creditors and the opportunity to get some breathing space to improve its cashflow and get its house in order. Forty-two football...

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