Top football agent loses £1.2m tax battle

Jerome Anderson

A former football agent who represented players at Manchester City and had strong links with Blackburn Rovers has lost a £1.2m tax battle.

Retired Jerome Anderson has been found to have failed in his attempt to avoid large amounts of tax.

The case, heard at the Upper Tribunal, found that Anderson and eight others failed in their attempt to avoid large amounts of tax.

The scheme involved investments in the recruitment and training of young footballers at the Bafana Soccer Academy in South Africa.

Anderson attempted to use this investment to claim a £3m artificial trading loss to reduce his tax bill by huge amounts of money.

The tribunal found that Anderson’s activities were more like those of an investor, and this didn’t show that he was trading.

This decision means he could not claim a trading loss and tax was due.

Penny Ciniewicz, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Compliance, said: “The court has made it clear that these schemes don’t work.

“Our public services rely on everyone paying their taxes and it’s unfair for people not to pay their share.

“Anyone who’s caught up in tax avoidance and wants to put it behind them should come forward now and settle what they owe.”

Anderson was a London based sports agent with Sport Entertainment and Media Group from 2001 until his retirement.

He was the first agent to introduce foreign stars to the English Premier League, including Dennis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars and Uwe Rosler.

He represented nine of Arsenal’s 1989 title-winning side and has represented over 200 professional footballers.

The agent became heavily involved in Manchester City in 2007.

Between £5 million and £7 million was reported to have been paid in commission to Anderson as part of the recruitment of eight new players in the weeks following the takeover of the club by Thaksin Shinawatra.

He was heavily involved in Blackburn Rovers during the Sam Allardyce regime.