Government tax rules means no Cup Final at Emirates

A bid by Arsenal to get a UEFA Cup Final at the Emirates has been thwarted by the government’s tax collection agency Revenue and Customs.

FIFA and UEFA now require football associations to confirm in writing that no player who plays in a cup final will have to pay tax on any earnings that result from that situation.

Players earn cup final money not only from their clubs and sponsor deals (which are taxed in the country where they are registered for tax) but also from local deals – for example by doing TV and newspaper interviews in the country where the final takes place.

This money is normally taxed in the country where the player lives – but for that to happen the UK has to have a “double taxation” deal with the country in question.  Although this is true with all EU countries and virtually everyone else in western Europe, it is not true in the case of a couple of ex-USSR countries.

Of course it is utterly unlikely that any team from Moldova is going to make it to the final, but just in case that happens, Customs and Revenue has to say “no” to such a request – which means no Euro Cup Final in the UK until the rules change.