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