Footballers helping keep economy on the ball

© Ithica Publishing Services

If you’ve ever wondered if there could possibly be any justification for the stratospheric wages of professional footballers, we may just have an answer for you.

Players in the Premier League contributed £458m in income tax last year alone, a substantial contribution to the UK economy when it needed it most. A further £188m went to the Exchequer in NI payments, with the league’s total tax contribution standing at well over £700m.

This year, that figure looks set to rise again, with Premier League football expected to contribute a staggering £1bn to the Exchequer.

That’s due to a number of factors, not least the recent introduction of a 50% top rate tax which affects many of the league’s top players. Improved broadcasting deals for the 2011-2012 season has also increased Premier League club revenue by around 30%, which in turn translates to a higher tax bill.

Meanwhile, the increased rate of VAT will generate more tax on match ticket sales and merchandise.

Footballers have previously been highlighted as exposing loopholes, using their ‘image rights’ companies to minimise their tax liabilities. But with these loopholes steadily being closed, players’ individual contributions look set to be more significant than ever this year.

So next time somebody asks ‘what is a footballer actually good for?’ it seems that ‘the economy’ might be a wholly reasonable reply,

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