Celtic On The Brink – No, Not That One

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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11 Responses

  1. Gervillian Swike says:

    It’s spot on, the sadness at another club feeling the pinch in this way is tempered with irritation that the owners couldn’t see the most basic rule of any business: pay the taxman. And it’s astonishing how many clubs cannot understand this simple rule of business.

  2. Halifaxian says:

    How on earth do HMRC allow clubs not to pay their tax? How can any business be allowed to rack up YEARS worth unpaid tax? Now the owners of clubs like Farsley are certainly responsible for not living within their means but surely HMRC should take a look at their procedures and put a stop to any non payment of tax. Lumping a winding up order on a club they have allowed to get away with not paying tax almost borders on unfair.

  3. Simon Cope says:

    In reply to Halifaxian:

    “Lumping a winding up order on a club they have allowed to get away with not paying tax almost borders on unfair.”

    I’m afraid that for me that falls squarely in the “ignorance is no defence of the law” camp. To somehow twist this and appportion blame on HMRC is incorrect – the responsiblity of non-payment of taxes (VAT, PAYE, NI contribution) is solely that of the club involved. What is unfair is that some clubs choose to use the taxman (i.e. our collective money as taxpayers!) as a form of credit, whilst other clubs they compete against choose to keep their tax affairs reasonably up to date. That creates a financial disparity between clubs that affects the competitive balance of a league.

    The underlying problem needs to be addressed by the footballing authorities. Forget ten point deductions – how about having to prove to whatever league you are in that you are up to date with your tax payments before you are allowed to compete?

    I would wager that the vast majority of football clubs entering administration in the past few years have owed a substantial proportion of their overall debt to the taxman. Why should we as taxpayers subsidise financial mismanagement?

  4. Rob says:

    Simon – “The underlying problem needs to be addressed by the footballing authorities. Forget ten point deductions – how about having to prove to whatever league you are in that you are up to date with your tax payments before you are allowed to compete?”

    The Football League have managed to do just that at their AGM earlier in the month, Any club that falls behind with their payments for PAYE and NI.

    http://www.football-league.co.uk/page/News/FLNewsDetail/0,,10794~1691419,00.html

    The transfer embargo is a good-ish idea, as if you’re not paying the PAYE of your current employees, then you’re not allowed to bring any new ones in, but once again, it will be the actions of individuals that will cause the club as a whole to be punished.

  5. Jertzee says:

    Unfortunately the Football League’s new ruling with regards to a transfer embargo does not go far enough.

    By virtue of the fact that the club cannot pay it’s bills shown that they are closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

    A transfer embargo may be ineffectual if the club in question has got into debt by buying 20 players , and further into debt by paying them huge salaries.

    Quite simply a transfer embargo should be invoked once they fall behind on HMRC payments, and then the club thrown out of the league if any re-scheduled payments are missed.

    A transfer embargo will do nothing to stop the clubs from spending what they haven’t got.

    Amaazingly, the last line of that article goes on about introducing 2 more subs onto the bench, thereby fuelling the clubs need for extra players – players that half the teams can ill afford to sign.

    Madness.

  6. Halifaxian says:

    Simon,

    I agree entirely with what you say but why are clubs not dealt with immediately after they have missed a payment? HMRC should be getting on their case the minute the first payment is missed.

  7. Rob says:

    Jertzee: “Quite simply a transfer embargo should be invoked once they fall behind on HMRC payments”

    Which is the rule that the Football League has introduce, isn’t it?

  8. Jertzee says:

    Rob
    Not so , in my opinion.
    The link states “Once necessary practical arrangements have been made, any club that falls behind with its employee related payments to HMRC will be subject to a transfer embargo until such time as the debt is cleared.”

    My understanding is such, that if you cannot pay HMRC you then make arrangements with them to pay reschedule the debt. The transfer embargo is only invoked once THOSE RESCHEDULED payments are missed. e.g. if you cannot pay the May salaries by 19th June you can reschedule to pay them , say, over 2 months in July and August.

    As HMRC will have agreed to the rescheduling in July and August the embargo only comes into effect if the July and/or August payments are missed, not the June one.

  9. Martin says:

    “The cheque’s in the post…”

    Leagues should chuck out any club that doesn’t pay their tax on time.

  10. Martin says:

    Halifaxian, do you know how many companies HMRC are supposed to monitor in this way? Literally millions. It would be impossible for them, unless you want to pay more tax to vastly expand their operations. Don’t blame them for others’ dishonesty.

  11. Halifaxian says:

    I’m not blaming HMRC I just wondered why they allowed clubs to get away with it.

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