I best not give my complete opinion on the tax breaks for the rich. If Rafa or anyone else does not want to pay their way fairly then frankly I don’t want to watch them.
Taken from The Press Association
Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Roger Draper has welcomed amended tax rules announced in Wednesday’s Budget that could make it easier for Britain to attract the world’s top tennis players.
The UK’s tax system, which requires players to pay a percentage of their endorsement deals as well as their earnings while competing in the country, has become an increasingly major issue with two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal particularly vocal in his opposition.
The Spaniard claims playing in the UK costs him money, but the announcement on Wednesday that training days will now be included when HMRC considers the proportion of global endorsements to tax is considered a step in the right direction by the LTA.
Draper said: “I am pleased that the Government, like us, recognises that the existing rules on endorsement tax pose a serious risk to the status and growth of our major sporting events, and I welcome the decision to include this in the Budget.
“We will study this change in more detail, but I would like to thank the Government, and particularly the Sports Minister, Hugh Robertson MP and David Gauke MP, Treasury Minister, for taking the time to listen to our concerns, and also the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Club) and the ATP for working with us to find a resolution.”
Andy Murray is the only member of top four who will play at the AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club in London this year.
As well as the AEGON Championships, the tax rules are also an issue for the prestigious end-of-season Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, which were awarded to the O2 Arena in London in a five-year deal beginning in 2009.
The event has been a huge success with big crowds and universal approval from the players, the tax issue aside, and London is hoping to hang on to the tournament for another five years when the contract ends next year.
Tournament director Chris Kermode confirmed they have applied for a tax exemption, already given to the likes of the Champions League final when it was held at Wembley, but joined Draper in welcoming Wednesday’s news.
Kermode told Press Association Sport: “Everything helps but it’s too early to say how big an impact this will have. (Tax) is a large factor but it’s not the only factor. The ATP have an obligation to look at everything that’s out there.”