Sánchez refused admission, Meyer on a free?

By Tony Attwood

It is a day of snippets, of bits and pieces, of oddities and vagaries.

Like the fact that having finally had a summer where he has not been playing football all the way through and so has had a proper rest, Alexis Sanchez hasn’t been able to go to the USA with Manchester United for what was called a “personal administrative issue”.

I think that translates as “they wouldn’t give him a visa”.  This being due to the fact that along with a whole bunch of other players who have spent time in Spain, they have been done for tax fraud and given a suspended prison sentence.  

In Alexis’ case it was a 16 month prison term, which he will serve if he is caught a second time.  First time round it was for a €1m fraud relating to his image rights.  And yet rather interestingly in terms of how the newspapers see Manchester United, some are calling it an “alleged fraud”.  

Now normally the media in the UK report cases as “alleged” until the defendant is found guilty by the court, after which the defendant is a “convicted fraudster” or a “convicted murderer” or whatever.  That is right – it is right to treat a person as innocent until proven guilty.  It is a central part of our democracy, and by and large I am rather in favour of democracy.

Alexis Sánchez’ agent confirmed in February that the player had admitted his guilt and accepted a prison sentence.  So he is guilty. He has said so.  However since then he has said that the Spanish authorities “forced him” to sign, just as other fraudsters such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have done.

The reality is that whatever country one lives in, one is bound by the laws of that country, and if you don’t want to be, it is probably best to try and move to another country.  Footballers have a great luxury in this regard since most of us don’t have the ability to pick and choose which country we live in.  Alexis had that choice.  He chose Spain, and he chose as his employer a company that has had several runs in with the authorities both in terms of football (as when they were banned from signing anyone) and with the tax authorities.

After that players also have a second luxury – a salary that normally means that they are paid more a week than most of us are paid in three or four years.  

And yet with all that, they choose to take a chance of tax evasion schemes which they must know (because they can’t be utterly stupid) run the risk of being seen as fraud.  It is entirely a matter of choice.

As a person who pays his tax each month and each year on time, I do find it a little annoying to feel any sympathy with people who can earn far, far more than me then not only engage in dubious practices to avoid tax, but finally complain when they are caught and sentenced. And I would say that about any current Arsenal players as much as against past Arsenal players.

Even the dumbest person must know that countries expect tax to be paid and will go looking if it is not.  In Alexis’ case it was claimed and accepted by the player that he had used a company based in Malta to receive image rights as a way of avoiding tax.

Messi, Mourinho, Mascherano, Christiano Ronaldo… they have all gone down the same route.  The defence was that the contract concerning image rights had been used for years but the state had not prosecuted.  Which is rather like me saying, “I’ve been driving this road to work for 25 years and broken the speed limit every day.  Now today you’re fining me for breaking the speed limit.  That’s unfair.”

No, as an argument, that’s pathetic.

Meanwhile in other news the latest rumour is that Arsenal are after Max Meyer who is available on a free transfer.  He’s an attacking midfielder who is 22 years old and has played 146 games for Schalke 04 since 2013.

The other other news is rather a repeat of last week’s other news, in that Welbeck and Ospina could leave Arsenal.  

Danny Welbeck is, like Ramsey, is in the last year of his contract.  The other tips in the media for players to depart are the names we’ve heard a number of times… 

  • Lucas Perez
  • Carl Jenkinson
  • Chuba Akpom
  • Joel Campbell

However Perez and Jenkinson did play against The Wood (wrongly referred to in some papers as  Borehamwood, whereas in fact it is Boreham Wood).  But then so did Reiss Nelson, Ainsley-Maitland-Niles, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith-Rowe, Jordi Osei-Tutu and Joe Willock.

Whether we can keep all of them, I am not sure, but I would hope so, even if it means releasing all four of the players listed above.  Of course one only sees glimpses of these players through such games, but I would say surely Nelson must stay, Maitland-Niles has a new contract, Eddie was brilliant in the summer tournament, Jeff looked powerful in his short appearance after such a long lay-off through injury… I could make a case for all of them to be given a chance.

But for Danny and Oooooospina, I suspect they will be moved on.


Dear Arsenal Supporter, you are being brainwashed

Seven fantasies, 11 nightmares and Ramsey’s agent tweets “keep making the stuff up”.

All the things we didn’t learn from the world cup.



11 Replies to “Sánchez refused admission, Meyer on a free?”

  1. I do supposed you know that the fantastically wonderful president of the free world one Mr Trump doesn’t pay taxes

  2. Now that we are arriving at the “players to leave” point in the Transfer Fenestration, Home Grown status becomes critical – both for us speculating on departures, and of course, for the Arsenal hierarchy. I have just crossed from another site suggesting seven possible farewells: I wouldn’t normally bother, but I wanted to confirm to myself (and now to you!) how inadequately these people join their thinking, as, sure enough, four of them were HGs.

    A propos, do you know if le Jeff, who has been given a squad place, counts as HG? If he is, it would certainly help when binning the players not wanted by the bloggerati…

  3. Jeff is u21 and has been with the club for at least 2 years so is eligible for the B list for both premier league and Europa League. That leaves an A list place free.

  4. Tony,
    If you are “rather in favour of democracy” why are you so pro-EU? The two notions are incompatible.

    Also, regarding the right to innocence until proven guilty being a central part of our democracy; that waas the case when we were a sovereign nation but we are now subject to foreign laws which in the case of tghe EU does not recognize this fundamental right.

    I am sure that, however galling, Mr Trump is entitled to a tax-free salary due to his status, as applies to all the chiefs of the EU.

  5. Me and a certain lady were in the gallery watching a number of cases, I have in fact seen a judge acting on the previous directions of another judge, give every dispensation possible to a man who exactly said he had sped down the same road for work to fund private school tuition. Meanwhile he gave the maximum penalty to a man who had no offence other than to have failed to produce the correct insurance, having been ripped off by the company who sold him the incorrect insurance, at a far from competitive price.

    There was no reason to stop the second accussed.

    I am not in favour of paying taxes, you should by and large be able to opt out of certain contribution. I’m EEA or EU, let alone wprk in a bank and hail from S. America, having a Belgian wife, and have no rights to vote, and maybe continue in my employment.

    To suggest a short term visa was not acceptable for Alexis, is ridiculous. I guess that rules ut MLS, so China, or back home. Once a…… I think thi consitutes an exceptional opportunity.

    Monaco, very sensibly have gon in for Golovin and are trying to tie it up quickly, Juventus have ‘allegedly’ had an offer of around £17m rejected.

    ON Topic I believe

  6. Did I not see somewhere that Trump was not taking his presidential salary, so there would be nothing to pay tax on.

  7. To one and all – Please use FACTS.
    The issue with Putin’s buttboy is not taxes on his Presidential salary, which he generously eschews, but taxes on the vast millions he continues to make in violation of the Emoluments clause in the US constitution.

  8. http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11670/11439323/arsene-wenger-admits-22-year-arsenal-stay-perhaps-a-mistake

    I’ll let the man speak for himself, but I do believe it reflects what I have submitted of his tenure, of his capacities, of the potential of two LEGENDS.

    This is what sets ‘us’ who dare to be greater than what ‘they’ would have us believe of ourselves.

    A doctrine, that selfless sacrifice in pursuit of a gol seemingly unattainable.

    The EU and democracy is a step towards anarchy, the same free will and choice. The EU states that every official must be ellected by democratic process, we do not do this, we do not do many things which should be central to every man, woman and childs desires.

    United we stand, divided we fall. Anyone who votes for division is a fool, he deserves to be washed away by flood waters, starve, whilst supermarkets stockpile food stuffs fraudulently appropriated from those countries in which insurgents arrived, placed flags and claimed to own.

    This is simple economics.

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