Football: Tottenham's tax problem

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The Independent Online
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR could face Inland Revenue demands in excess of pounds 1m in the wake of allegations over loan payments to players. The club have been invited to make a pounds 500,000 down payment, but the final bill is likely to be much higher.

Revenue officials have not yet taken into account interest on the unpaid tax - or penalty clauses which could double the figure the club is asked to pay.

According to Granada TV's World in Action at least 11 past and present players, including the current manager, Ossie Ardiles, have been given interest-free loans in breach of Football League rules.

The Spurs chairman, Alan Sugar, is said to have written off more than pounds 400,000 in loans and has given details of these, which occurred before he joined the club, to the Premier League inquiry.

The programme's producer, Charles Tremayne, claimed that Sugar had informed the authorities about the loans only 'when it became clear to him that World In Action were about to reveal it.'

Sugar insisted yesterday that no official demands have been received from the Inland Revenue and added: 'World In Action are amateurs playing in a professionals' world. . . They should stick to finding Ken Barlow a new girlfriend in Coronation Street.'