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Lionel Messi planning a move to Arsenal this summer.

By Billy the Dog McGraw

Let me assure you this story about Lionel Messi is not from a bloggetta.  No.  It  comes Untold’s English newspaper of choice (although we give them the occasional bashing for forgetting the evidence and printing silly things).  (In our opinion).

But today that is what it says in the Guardian.  Messi to Arsenal in the summer.

Now I think they are having a bit of a laugh because the story seems to originate (as far as any of these stories originate) in The Daily Star.

But I also think there might be a grain of truth in this because the reason the little one is wanting to leave is that he feels persecuted by the tax man.  And England is very very very very very very very very very very very very very very kindhearted and nice to big earners who want to pay no tax.

Indeed there is a hell of a what-not going on in England at the moment about tax gathering from those funny foreign people who live here but don’t technically actually “live here” because they spend more than four hours a week in an airplane hovering over London Southend airport watching the mud.  They might even have businesses here, but don’t.   So if Mr Messi is unhappy with tax in Spain and he has set himself up as a company, he’s probably heading the right way.

Tax of course is a complicated old thing, so I need to get a good source for this.  Thus here it is from the BBC.

Global firms such as Starbucks, Google and Amazon have come under fire for avoiding paying tax on their British sales….

Starbucks, for example, had sales of £400m in the UK last year, but paid no corporation tax. It transferred some money to a Dutch sister company in royalty payments, bought coffee beans from Switzerland and paid high interest rates to borrow from other parts of the business.

Amazon, which had sales in the UK of £3.35bn, only reported a “tax expense” of £1.8m.

And Google’s UK unit paid just £6m to the Treasury in on UK turnover of £395m.

We used to protest about this type of thing.   Laying siege to a Vodafone store, making it clear what we thought of Top Shop, and really laying into Barclays Bank.  UK Uncut seemed to be having an impact.

But we’re British and telling naughty firms off for not paying their tax is now so yesterday we don’t do it anymore.   “Let them steal our money” is the new cry, and so being English we just get on with our other main pre-occupation which seems to be catching old pedophiles.

And so it seems natural that Mr Messi and his dad who are being subjected to the indignity of a tax fraud allegation of £3m should come to England where the tax cheat is welcome, and we give rosettes to the firm that are knocking off Revenue and Customs and forcing the rest of us to pay ever higher taxes.

Except I must add Websites and Blogs Ltd, the company that owns Untold Arsenal, are awfully decent fellows and who pay their tax on time.  I mean we even sent a cheque to the Revenue earlier this year for 50p after they claimed we had underpaid them and were going to charge us interest.

But back with football, there is of course the issue of the Messian wage bill – £600,000 a week it seems.  And because Websites and Blogs Ltd has a new calculator (cost £3.25 claimed of course as a legit business expense on our tax return) I can tell you that putting up the cost of each seat for each game by about £23 per match should see the club clear to pay the money.

And of course we can pay part of the transfer fee by selling Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United for £53million bid – which is the other big story doing the rounds.

Sanchez though is contracted to Arsenal until the summer of 2018, so we might not sell him.  We could sell Ozil to anyone interested of course, because as we all know he is nicking a living, but he is about to sign a new contract that keeps him playing for Arsenal until 2019, which is, (pause for the valves on the calculator to warm up) four years away.

Oh and apparently we are also buying a guy from Borussia Monchengladbach (most hated fan – the one who shouts “Give us a B”) Granit Xhaka who is Swiss.  That is in Calciomercato.  And Napoli midfielder Jorginho, he’s on his way too according to The Mirror.

Goodness, this really is going to put the cost of the old seat in the ground up a bit.

But let me come back to where I started.  My old chum Sir Hardly Anyone doesn’t know any of this because it is in the real live newspaper world, not on his bloggettas.   Does this spell the little boys’ end?  [Little boy in this context refers to the people who write the bloggettas, not Sir Hardly].

Or are they too, part of a tax dodge?

Speaking of which let me end with a lovely headline from the Guardian earlier this year – and one that will undoubtedly have been view by Mr Messi and his plethora of tax advisers.

London’s tax-dodge tour: visit the companies who don’t pay their dues

It seems in London today you can get “tax justice walking tours”.   I am told the numbers on these tours is rising, and that “Some of them speak Spanish.”   Well!!!

Of course if we are talking tax we ought to be talking Rangers, who if you read Taxjustice.net you see the headline Rangers lose the big tax case: what now?   On the other hand if you read the Herald they claim,  “Rangers say they did not lose the Big Tax Case and it does not affect history.”

But that’s a separate matter, and Arsenal of course don’t use any of the dirty tricks that Rangers (that’s the past Rangers who played in the Premier League not the present Rangers who employ Gideon Zelalem and play in the Championship) are alleged to have used.   But perhaps that is best left for another article.

For the moment let us celebrate; the seats in the stadium are going up by £23 a match to pay for a man who is on trial for tax evasion.  Welcome Lionel me ol’ mocker.  Quick pint down the pub?

Or perhaps not.

From the anniversary files (the rest for today are on the home page)

  • 16 November 1962: Yes it is Stevie’s birthday.  Steve Bould born this day. He started out at his local club Stoke, went on loan to Torquay United during which time the manager was Bruce Rioch, who later had one season with Arsenal as manager. He then returned to Stoke and he moved to Arsenal in June 1988.
  • 16 November 2002: Arsenal beat Tottenham 3-0 to go back to top of the league. The game included the Premiership Goal of the Season by Henry.  He took the ball from inside his own half, beat all of the Tottenham defence, beat them a second time, took a tour around most the Arsenal team, stopped off for a quick chat on tactics with Mr Wenger, waved hello to Robert Pires, scored from about 2 miles out and ran all the way back to the other end.  (Some of the details of this event may need checking).

Recently published

Do the first 12 games tell us just how the rest of the season will go? Apparently yes.

The Untold Books

15 comments to Lionel Messi planning a move to Arsenal this summer.

  • nicky

    Well, le petit Lionel is in a real mess. I blame Spain. To try and obtain tax from Barca,, Real and their spoilt children is simply asking for trouble and they should have known better.
    But we don’t want him at the Ems. We already have enough world class players and to require re-building a team around a soon-to- be fading super star is simply
    not on.
    In any case, my cousin Eli at HMRC will be waiting for him. 😉

  • andy bishop

    who cares..more concerned that my local council require us to put tax discs on our green wheelie bins. More interested in getting Ramsey back fit

  • jayramfootball

    I do hope this story is as false as all he rest. Could not stand the thought of that horrible little man playing for us.
    Nasty cheating diver. One thing is for sure, if he did play for us, all those free kicks he gets for nothing would dry up very quickly.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think he will rather move to Arsenal de Sarindi in Argentina than to Arsenal in England 🙂 I think they will be even more relaxed to the tax businesses from their super star than they will be even in England…

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Arsenal can sign Lionel Messi now in the winter window or never as the summer maybe late to sign him. If Messi wants to come to Arsenal and accept a lower wage bill and Barca are reasonable to allow him to go for a reasonable transfer fee to thank him for the incredible service he gave them, as Abramovich had allowed Petr Cech to come to Arsenal for a reasonable transfer fee, Arsenal can sign Messi 28, for £350m/week after tax for a 4 year deal. And pay Barca £60m for his transfer fee to Arsenal. The issue here are, 1. Does Messi still have enough fire power left in him to help Arsenal win a back to back Barclays Premier League title this season and the Champions League this season if we scale over to the knockout stages? And help us win it again next season? 2. Will Arsenal club and the Boss agree between themselves to have the Boss’ weekly wages increase above what Messi will earn at Arsenal to keep in place the no player earns more than the Boss does policy? But can Arsenal afford to sign another marquee player, e.g. Neymar to support Messi? And Arsenal will of course not sell any of their current top players to fund Messi and the marquee player transfer fee. But Arteta & Rosicky can be released to help accommodate the 2 new in-comers wage bill. By the way, if Arsenal sign Messi and Neymar for instance, and Man Utd got Ronaldo from R Madrid. Would Arsenal be quaranteed 2 back to back BPL & UCL titles from this season? And wouldn’t Arsenal recoup their investments on Messi &Neymar within 1-2 years as their sponsorship and merchandise could be greatly increased, and fans may not complain on higher price of tickets because they have gotten they marquee players they have so desired to have? I suspect if Arsenal don’t avail themselves with this likely opportunity that comes once in a decade, Man Utd who have the bigger financial capacity than Arsenal have, may seize this likely chance and sign those trio of Messi, Ronaldo & Neymar before our very looking eyes. But such a big gamble MUST yield high dividends for LvG or he will resigns without waiting for a sack after plunging Man Utd into financial mess. I hope I have not over fantazied.

  • Minesy

    Really Billy, Corporation Tax is nothing to do with a company’s sales, it’s based on their profits … clearly Tony hasn’t had time to take the BBC to task on that one yet 😉

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Arsenal can sign Lionel Messi now in the winter window or never as the summer maybe late to sign him. If Messi wants to come to Arsenal and accepts a lower wage bill and Barca are reasonable to allow him to go for a reasonable transfer fee to thank him for the incredible service he gave them, as Abramovich had allowed Petr Cech to come to Arsenal for a reasonable transfer fee, Arsenal can sign Messi 28, for £350k/week after tax for a 4 year deal. And pay Barca £60m for his transfer fee to Arsenal. The issue here are, 1. Does Messi still have enough fire power left in him to help Arsenal win a back to back Barclays Premier League title this season and the Champions League this season if we scale over to the knockout stages? And help us win it again next season? 2. Will Arsenal club and the Boss agree between themselves to have the Boss’ weekly wages increase above what Messi will earn at Arsenal to keep in place the no player earns more than the Boss does policy? But can Arsenal afford to sign another marquee player, e.g. Neymar to support Messi? And Arsenal will of course not sell any of their current top players to fund Messi and the marquee player transfer fees. But Arteta & Rosicky can be released to help accommodate the 2 new in-comers wage bills. By the way, if Arsenal sign Messi and Neymar for instance, and Man Utd got Ronaldo from R Madrid. Would Arsenal be quaranteed 2 back to back BPL & UCL titles from this season? And wouldn’t Arsenal recoup their investments on Messi &Neymar within 1-2 years as their sponsorship and merchandise could be greatly increased, and fans may not complain on higher price of tickets because they have gotten the marquee players they have so desired to have? I suspect if Arsenal don’t avail themselves with this likely opportunity that comes once in a decade, Man Utd who have the bigger financial capacity than Arsenal have, may seize this likely chance and sign those trio of Messi, Ronaldo & Neymar before our very looking eyes. But such a big gamble MUST yield high dividends for LvG or he will resign without waiting for a sack after plunging Man Utd into financial mess. I hope I have not over fantazied.

  • Josif

    Messi is the greatest player of all times. If there is a player that could follow Wenger’s ideas 100 percent, it’s Messi. He uses brain, technique and has an eye for the final pass that is second only to his goal-scoring skills. Nobody gets beaten like him yet he rarely goes down. Calling him a diver is ridiculous.

    To pay him 600 pounds per week though?!

    Tax-issues are usually linked with players as their accountants obviously don’t want to spoil their clients’ happiness by mentioning tax-obligations. Maradona’s tax-issues from Napoli are also under investigation.

  • Gord

    OT:

    Steve Bould’s birthday, and another Untold Article by Tony are on the Arsenal website.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20151113/arsenal-are-finally-getting-recognition

    It was here Nov 12.

    http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/47992

    Congratulations Tony et al.

  • Gord

    Let Messi go to ManU. They have money to burn.

    There is a report that Alexis is coming back injured from Chile. Calf injury. Could be 6 weeks from last Friday.

    Bleech!

    At least it is better than what AVilla was dealt, their player is gone for the season.

  • Gunner6

    As someone who is involved in the tax profession, it is not the fault of the so-called global firms who pay so little tax. The fault lies squarely on HMRC who failed to use existing tax rules to claw back those profits.

    What is being written on the press about G20 countries getting tougher with tax avoidance (contrast with tax evasion which is illegal) is just PR exercise – the need to be seen to be doing something.

    Besides, let’s also not forget the other taxes these companies already pay in the UK such as NIC. The way this is reported, I am not surprised general public is up in arms about these companies rather than HMRC’s incompetence.

    Gunner6

  • Pedro

    Josif,
    Well said in regard to defending Messi…not a diver and why would anyone not want him in their team …. Imagine the atmosphere it would create ….the man is a genius on the pitch…..

  • Guudmon

    Is it possible?yes but for now it’s just another viper

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOW ! That’ll be a big coup for the ‘spend some more fucking money brigade ‘ !

  • dano_1886

    Sorry SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin that all sounds amazing but just can’t happen. There’s not a single Arsenal fan that wouldn’t want Messi but the wages mean it’s just not possible

    You say 350k after tax but that means paying him 5-600 before tax. Considering Alexis/Ozil on 140/150 before tax the the pay structure for entire squad would have to change (our World class players would demand at least £300k before tax).

    Let’s not even talk about how that would disrupt the premier league and the fact there are 2 clubs that could double those extreme wages with money found down the back of their sofas.

    No amount of sponsorship could head off the bankruptcy of our club that that sort of spending would result in. Plus the type of sponsorship we need would only happen with guaranteed ongoing success a la Man United. Unfortunately ManU got to that stage in a different era with a lot less competition

    And it’s also worth noting that a lot of fans are just about managing to pay for their season tickets. That sort of spending will put ticket prices through the roof. Even having Messi and Neymar won’t help the team if the crowd is made up of consumers rather than supporters