What Michel Platini hasn’t been able to achieve from Geneva is the destruction of the Premier League’s superiority over the rest of Europe. As continually evidenced by the achievements of the ‘Top 4’ over the past few years in the European Cup (otherwise known as the Champions League). After this report in the Sunday Times (Arsene Wenger warns of Premier League Tax bomb) he’s probably opened the bubbly and sent messages of congratulations to Brown and Darling, telling them that at the end of their tenures in Whitehall they’ve assured jobs at UEFA.
Mr Wenger is correct in highlighting how the latest tax increases may well impact negatively on the sport and coupled with the falling pound it can only make importing the top stars pricier. Obviously the clubs will channel these higher costs in two directions, raising the prices to sponsors and tickets, merchandise prices etc. to the fans. At the end of the day (you can’t write a blog about football and not have the number one cliché in there) the fans are the ones who will be stumping up the cash to pay for higher tax rates albeit via higher sponsor prices (Sky, BBC, Setanta, ITV etc.) and higher direct costs. The ordinary taxpayer is being squeezed from all sides and is past the squeaking stage.
Unfortunately for Platini, Brown and Darling the football clubs will find ways around the higher tax bills, and the Premier League gravy train will continue to move forwards. Brown and Darling will face declining tax revenues as players, managers and owners move their holdings overseas, to warmer and kinder climes. Brown and Darling have made the UK a terrible place to do business (and live), they’ve ensured wealth will not be settling on these shores, unless it is taken by force. Britain has become akin to the Wembley pitch: in serious need of renewal, while the Head Grounds Man needs to be fired due to habitual incompetence.