Chelsea footballer N’Golo Kante (pictured) refused to have part of his salary paid into an offshore account, despite alleged pressure from his club, according to website Football Leaks.
In an email from Kante’s tax advisor to Chelsea, revealed by Football Leaks, the advisor said that ‘N’Golo is inflexible, he simply wants a normal salary’.
The email from May 2017 stated: ‘After reading numerous press articles on image rights and tax investigations against players and clubs, N’Golo is increasingly concerned that the set-up proposed to him could be questioned by the tax authorities. N’Golo decided that he did not want to take any risks.’
According to French website Mediapart, 20% of Kante’s £6 million annual salary was made up of image rights.
A company called NK Promotions was reportedly set up in Jersey before his £32 million transfer from Leicester City to Chelsea, with the aim of paying half of his image rights to the offshore company to avoid tax.
Mediapart reports that this is an idea Chelsea was keen on doing.
However, Kante personally decided against using the scheme, according to the report, and declined to receive any image rights until a deal was agreed in February this year to pay the money into a UK-based company.
He is now liable for extra tax totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Because the earnings are considered to be worldwide, it is standard practice for footballers to be paid a portion of their income for image rights in offshore accounts.
A Chelsea spokesperson declined to comment.