Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers

England's top footballers have become the latest high-profile individuals to be named and shamed as tax dodgers, reports Shamik Das.

England’s top footballers have become the latest high-profile individuals to be named and shamed as tax dodgers. Wayne Rooney alone avoided paying nearly £600,000, with Gareth Barry shirking more than £135,000 in taxes. Today’s Mirror also names Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Theo Walcott, David James, Michael Owen, Andy Carroll and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere.


Rooney, who is believed to be on more than £200,000 a week, faced a £623,000 bill on a slice of his earnings – but ended up paying only £25,000.

The Mirror reports:

“The Man United idol, 25, paid himself £1.6million through his image rights firm, incurring a measly 2% tax – even though the top rate was then 40%. England team-mate Gareth Barry, 29, paid just £6,000 tax on £373,000 when he might have been hit by a £142,000 Inland Revenue bill.

“They are among dozens of super-rich footballers who have parts of their wages paid into image rights companies. Some then pay themselves from the firms at just 2% tax as they are deemed directors’ loans – avoiding the current 50% top rate.

“The scheme is legal but will be a kick in the teeth for millions of ordinary supporters who pay tax at normal rates.”

Rooney’s tax dodging will do little to endear him back in the hearts of United fans, coming just months after his contract negotiations – during which he was accused of holding the club to ransom – and just a week after Manchester City Council fired 2,000 staff, a move described by the Unite trade unioin as “savage”.

• The False Economy website is running a poll of the nation’s top tax shirkers: Barclays; Boots; Google; George Osborne; HM Revenue and Customs; HMV; KPMG; Philip Green/Arcadia; SAB Miller; and Vodafone, while UK Uncut is holding a day of action against tax avoidance on Sunday, January 30th – for details see here.

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71 Responses to “Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers”

  1. Alexander Fujii

    Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers | Left …: England's top footballers have become the … http://bit.ly/eG26Ka

  2. Alexander Fujii

    Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers | Left …: England's top footballers have become the … http://bit.ly/eG26Ka

  3. Major Dodger Fan

    Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers | Left … http://bit.ly/hGBPI0

  4. Major Dodger Fan

    Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers | Left … http://bit.ly/hGBPI0

  5. Lesley

    Fans? you've been conned
    RT @leftfootfwd Millionaire footballers exposed as latest tax dodgers http://bit.ly/gKk3Gk /via @FalseEcon #UKuncut

  6. Lesley

    @ChrisGPackham Megabucks is a reason I don't watch footie: Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers: http://bit.ly/gKk3Gk

  7. Stephen Lintott

    Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers | Left Foot Forward http://tinyurl.com/6jtp5dv

  8. The Fat Councillor

    RT @EnglishFolkfan: Fans? you've been conned
    RT @leftfootfwd Millionaire footballers exposed as latest tax dodgers http://bit.ly/gKk3Gk

  9. Kelly

    RT @EnglishFolkfan: Fans? you've been conned
    RT @leftfootfwd Millionaire footballers exposed as latest tax dodgers http://bit.ly/gKk3Gk

  10. Andrew G

    RT @EnglishFolkfan: Fans? you've been conned
    RT @leftfootfwd Millionaire footballers exposed as latest tax dodgers http://bit.ly/gKk3Gk

  11. George B

    RT @leftfootfwd Millionaire footballers exposed as latest tax dodgers http://bit.ly/gKk3Gk /via @FalseEcon #UKuncut<< About time too!

  12. Jack Whitby

    RT @EnglishFolkfan: Fans? you've been conned
    RT @leftfootfwd Millionaire footballers exposed as latest tax dodgers http://bit.ly/gKk3Gk

  13. Cliff James

    RT @leftfootfwd: Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers http://bit.ly/igVFxT

  14. Daniel Pitt

    RT @leftfootfwd: Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers: http://bit.ly/gKk3Gk reports @ShamikDas

  15. Tan Copsey

    @seaningle How about some coverage of football's tax-dodgers on the pod this week? http://bit.ly/i69SiF

  16. Jack Sinclair

    @StarSparkle_UK http://bit.ly/fpD3rv footballer tax dodgers

  17. StarSparkle

    Doesn't surprise me in the slightest, sadly .@J4ckSincl4ir @StarSparkle_UK http://bit.ly/fpD3rv footballer tax dodgers

  18. Deb

    RT @StarSparkle_UK: Doesn't surprise me in the slightest, sadly .@J4ckSincl4ir @StarSparkle_UK http://bit.ly/fpD3rv footballer tax dodgers

  19. Anthony Masters

    I apologise that this is rather out of date, but I was not informed of extra comments on this article.
    I was using “slander” in a rather more informal sense, but Paul Douglas, you are absolutely correct. It is rather controversial, but I do want people to focus their ire on the government to simplify these laws.
    And yes, it is earned income, so Debsalini, it should be paid at whatever the correct rate is.

  20. Protesters demand resignation of HMRC boss for colluding with tax avoiders | Left Foot Forward

    […] Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgers – Shamik Das, January 17th […]

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