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The Economist: Football clubs can easily be used as stealing machines

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Old
07-19-2013, 12:44 PM
  #1
Ziostilon
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The Economist: Football clubs can easily be used as stealing machines

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A villain’s guide to football
Welcome to the beautiful game

A NEW football season approaches, and with it new players, overpriced replica kits and unsavoury club owners. If you are one of them, most observers will wrongly assume that you are laundering only your reputation, and that you are willing to lose millions on a philanthropic sporting folly to do so. That is too kind. Your new asset will not just help you wash your dirty money. It will make more of it too.

It is a good time to enter the football racket. Banks are less generous and sentimental about loans. Tax officials are less lenient, too, as Rangers, a big Glasgow club, discovered: it was forced into liquidation by tax arrears, afterwards being reconstituted under new ownership. But hard times mean clubs are desperate and going cheap. Set up a holding company (or a nest of them) in a discreet jurisdiction, as many owners do, and you have a money-laundering and embezzlement machine at your disposal. The authorities are unlikely to bother you (see article).

Start with ticket revenues. Exaggerating the attendance at matches lets you run some of the dirty takings from your previous career through the turnstiles, turning them into legitimate income (this particular ruse works best if you buy a middling club, where games are not routinely sold out). Conversely, if you need some petty cash you can siphon off the gate receipts—a tactic that some of Brazil’s football kingpins, the cartolas (“top hats”), are rumoured to have employed in the past.

....more
Article from Economist

How prevalent do you think this money laundering type business is in North American sports


Last edited by Fugu: 07-19-2013 at 12:49 PM. Reason: copyright-- can't post entire articles
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07-19-2013, 01:02 PM
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hisgirlfriday
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The first thing I thought of was the Brooklyn Nets.

But I doubt this type of laundering is that common in NA sports. I mean I think a lot of owners use sports team "losses" to reduce taxes on themselves overall but not quite the same thing as laundering.

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07-19-2013, 01:12 PM
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Zobitembois
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This journalist should come to Italy and write an article about the Calcio.....

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07-19-2013, 02:24 PM
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VinnyC
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NA? I don't think it's that common, there's a decent degree of accountability from the major leagues and most owners have a decent business empire behind them.

...at least that's what I'd like to think.

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07-19-2013, 03:01 PM
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Brodie
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the way leagues are operated here make these kind of things nearly impossible, aiui

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