Greedy soccer players are putting such a high value on their talents that fans are paying sky high prices to watch them.
Players and agents grabbed £1 billion in wages and fees from the English Premier League last season, while Argentinian star Carlos Tevez is paid £1 a second in China even though he is strolling through the sunset of his career.
And who pays for this…the fans are sandbagged with rising season ticket prices and the cost of watching live matches on TV.
While hard-working fans count the cost of watching their favourite teams, soccer players are embroiled in tax scandals.
Manchester United star Wayne Rooney is reportedly facing a £62 million tax bill over repaying tax reliefs claims that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) regard as ‘abusive’.
He is just one of several Premier League players and managers in conflict with HMRC over tax avoidance.
Besides dubious investments, more than 50 players, clubs and agents are subject of a separate HMRC crackdown on alleged tax avoidance involving image rights.
Image rights are payments for using a club or player’s name for promotional purposes. These payments are not part of their wages.
Meanwhile, French football and tax authorities are launching a major tax inquiry after investigative journalists handed over a dossier alleging tax abuse by star players in the nation’s top soccer league.
In Spain, some of the world’s biggest names, such as Lionel Messi and Neymar of Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid have had to repay millions in tax scandals.
What the top players earn
Messi was doled out a two-year prison sentence by the courts for his part in the multi-million tax avoidance scheme, but probably will not serve a day inside due to quirks in the Spanish legal system.
Fans would be forgiven for thinking these superstars had enough money without trying to snatch even more with aggressive tax planning.
Tevez has signed for Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in a £615,000 a week deal from Boca Juniors in Brazil, where he earned a paltry 5.5 euros a year.
Although Tevez, 32, is one of the world’s great players, he is in the twilight of his career and a spent force at the top level, where he lacks pace and stamina.
In comparison, Messi and Ronaldo earn around £365,000 a week, while the highest paid players in Britain pick up between £200,000 and £250,000.