Everywhere today is the same: “The Rich List”. And a lot of the publications that cover the story can’t ever be bothered to point out that the list has not much to do with being rich.
Not a sausage, in fact.
It is to do with turnover – the amount of money the central account of the clubs earn from marketing and, TV and gate money.
Richness is normally measured in terms of turnover minus expenditure. But that’s where the problem lies, because recently clubs like Manchester Bankrupt have been moving their money around from one company to another to try and hide their debts.
In a club like Manchester B there is no worry about showing things properly because the whole club is owned privately. Imagine this scenario:
You own two companies both part of the “Screw the Fans” group of companies. For the sake of argument and clarity I’ll call them Con-Trick and Rip-Off. Con-Trick shows a profit – and it does this because it takes all the income from the Screw the Fans group activity. Rip-Off on the other hand pays all the loan debts – so makes a huge loss.
Next what you might try to do is this: you place the ownership of Con-Trick in theVirgin Islands where there is no public analysis of company accounts. Con-Trick Virgin Islands now charges Con-Trick UK a royalty fee each year, which Con Trick UK pays, and so greatly reduces its tax liability. Con-Trick Virgin Islands doesn’t pay tax because there is no public disclosure.
And that’s what makes up the rich list. Arsenal’s finances are much straighter, because they are owned by a multiplicity of people and are UK based.
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