Cricket's ruling body may quit UK over tax bill

The International Cricket Council has threatened to abandon London and Lord's as the world headquarters of the sport in favour of Dublin, Singapore or even Monaco, unless it is given major tax concessions.

The International Cricket Council has threatened to abandon London and Lord's as the world headquarters of the sport in favour of Dublin, Singapore or even Monaco, unless it is given major tax concessions.

The council, which meets in Australia this week, has been conducting secret negotiations to persuade the Government to waive its UK tax bill in next month's budget. The ICC earns millions of pounds a year running tournaments and is understood to be frustrated that Britain imposes tax on international sporting bodies, unlike any of the other nine cricket playing nations.

A move away from London would be a considerable embarrassment to a country that still regards itself as the authentic home of the sport, particularly as Britain's rivals appear to include Monaco, Singapore, Ireland and the Netherlands, none of which have much cricketing pedigree. Britain has already lost the International Athletics Federation (IAF), which moved from London in 1993.

Yesterday, David Richards, the council's Australian chief executive, admitted that he had been involved in "preliminary discussions" with the Government on a number of issues, including possible relocation. A Government source confirmed that Richards complained about the ICC's tax bill.

Singapore would qualify geographically as a new headquarters, being midway between Australasia and the Indian sub-continent, two of cricket's foremost territories. Monaco might offer additional tax advantages but has no ties with the game, having joined none of the ICC's three membership grades; full, associate or affiliate. But the principality is the home of the IAF. Similarly, Dublin is now the headquarters of the International Rugby Board, though Ireland's rugby is somewhat more celebrated than its cricket. So far, Switzerland has not been examined, even superficially, although Fifa, soccer's governing body, is based in Zurich.

The ICC was established as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909, which held meetings as far as apart as three, five and nine years. In 1965 it became the International Cricket Conference and, finally, the International Cricket Council in 1989. But in none of these guises has it wielded any real power. It was a governing body only in name until recently when, belatedly, it set up an anti-corruption unit following the game's match-fixing scandals.

"The review currently under way considers a number of organisational issues, said Mr Richards. "This is a standard and entirely responsible business practice carried out to review the operational efficiency of the organisation.

"As part of this, several possible alternative locations for the ICC are being assessed but it should be stressed that no decision will be reached in the short term."

Staying in the UK remained an option: "In fact, the ICC is also involved in discussions about new or enlarged office facilities in its present location," he said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz