A former top-flight football agent who took the likes of Thierry Henry (pictured) and Dennis Bergkamp to Arsenal has lost a £1.2 million tax battle with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The case, heard at the Upper Tribunal, showed that Jerome Anderson and eight others failed in an attempt to avoid what HMRC called ‘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 the investment to claim a £3 million artificial trading loss to reduce his tax bill by ‘huge amounts of money’, according to HMRC.
The Tribunal found that Anderson’s activities were more like those of an investor and this didn’t show that he was trading.
The decision meant 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 who wants to put it behind them should come forward now and settle what they owe.’
Before retiring in 2014, Anderson was a football agent for Sport Entertainment and Media (SEM) Group, and in his time at SEM formed a close working relationship with Arsenal’s then vice-chairman David Dein, helping to bring the likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Marc Overmars and Emmnauel Petit to England.
Anderson was also involved in the infamous John Obi Mikel transfer saga in 2005, whereby Mikel signed for Chelsea despite having agreed terms with rivals Manchester United and having pictures taken in a United shirt.
He also had to deny having significant involvement in the day-to-day running of Blackburn Rovers in 2011, following the announcement of his son Myles Anderson signing a pre-contract agreement with the club.
Anderson has represented over 200 professional footballers in his career.