Gareth Southgate’s tax matters tarnish plans to knight the England boss if the Three Lions win the European Championship

  • Concerns raised over Southgate’s involvement in a ‘film investment scheme’
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) admit the scheme may be illegal
  • Even if Southgate won England, his honor could be questioned

The tax affairs of England football manager Gareth Southgate were the subject of heated debate in government, with plans to knight him if England had won the European Championship.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that concerns have been raised over Mr Southgate’s involvement in a ‘film investment scheme’ which has been deemed illegal by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

It is understood that even if Mr Southgate had led England to victory, his honor could be called into question on the basis of a secret memorandum of understanding that exists between the tax authority and the Cabinet Office. It states that ‘poor tax behavior is not commensurate with the award of an honour’.

However, last night a spokesman for the England manager, who took the team to the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup, insisted that as a ‘proud Englishman’, he had ‘always paid his taxes’ And fully HMRC compliant throughout his career. ,

Concerns were raised over Mr Southgate’s involvement in a ‘film investment scheme’ which has been deemed illegal by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Pictured: Southgate with his wife Alison

Sources said when tax authorities challenged the scheme, Mr Southgate immediately set aside the disputed money ‘into the account’ – even though he was not obliged to do so.

Winning the Euro in July 2021 would have been England’s greatest achievement since Sir Alf Ramsey’s World Cup victory in 1966. Follow in Sir Alf’s footsteps and be knighted. As England lost the match on penalties, it is understood that the plan was never formally proposed.

Sources said when tax authorities challenged the scheme, Mr Southgate immediately 'put' the disputed money into the account

Sources said when tax authorities challenged the scheme, Mr Southgate immediately ‘put’ the disputed money into the account

But sources say that as part of the initial discussions there were concerns about the manager’s tax matters.

Mr Southgate was an early member of the film investment schemes run by Ingenious Media, which HMRC has tried to shut down – despite the company saying its schemes were legal. A Whitehall source said the England manager had been placed in ‘amber’ on the ‘Tax Risk List’ – meaning his affairs could lead to ‘adverse comment’, it did not equate to a lifetime veto.

The source said: ‘If he had really won the Euros, he could have been overlooked.’

David Beckham is believed to have been blocked a knighthood in 2014 due to his involvement in the same film investment scheme. The ‘Beckham issue’ is believed to have been raised when Mr Southgate’s knighthood was discussed, with concerns that the former England captain could protest that it was one rule for him and another for Mr Southgate.

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