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Should your taxes be used to fund a Premier League football club?

November 28th, 2011 Posted in Government, Poverty, Tax by

 

One of the fastest-growing petitions in recent weeks has been this effort to stop millions of pounds in government funds being handed over to Tottenham Hotspur FC.

You can view it here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/14605

Spurs recently announced annual revenue of £163.5m, a significant chunk of which they spend paying their squad of millionaire footballers.

Yet having launched a strong campaign to take over the (tax-funded) Olympic stadium in Stratford, the club is now set to receive a large taxpayer “incentive” to build themselves a new stadium in Tottenham.

Unsurprisingly Mayor Boris is happily trying to chuck the cash their way while the lobbying and rent-seeking is being driven forward by local MP David Lammy.

The riots, which began in Tottenham, are being used as a justification for the funding, which apparently involves “regenerating” the area.

Regardless of the flaws in believing that areas are reformed by chucking a load of cash at them from elsewhere (they aren’t), one must ask if this is the best way of improving the outlook for young people in the neighbourhood.

Is throwing money at the nearest football club, which actually wanted to leave the area, the best way of helping local people?

And if any regeneration is good for impoverished areas, why doesn’t the government fund all private developments in poor neighbourhoods? What about Tesco? They bring jobs to poor areas when the open new stores. What about Lidl and Morrisons? Who decides on the alleged social benefits of each new scheme?

And why weren’t other football clubs subsidised for bringing jobs to their areas when they build new stadia? Down the road, Arsenal invested hundreds of millions on a new stadium and had to build masses of affordable flats and help fund a new recycling centre and put money aside for public transport improvements.

Why did they have to pay the state millions on top of their own costs, when Spurs are set to be subsidised?

Why aren’t the government looking to subsidise new grounds for Chelsea and QPR? Shouldn’t they be “incentivised” to “regenerate” other poor areas in London?

The decision to fund Spurs smacks of the usual corporate cronyism that sadly still pervades the political system. Nearly any development can be dressed up as worthy of “support” by self-interested vote-hungry politicians and manipulated by equally ravenous businessmen.

Sign the petition to stop your taxes going towards Tottenham Hotspur FC.

10 Responses to “Should your taxes be used to fund a Premier League football club?”

  1. petefhjk Says:

    Arsenal did get public money you moron. Do some basic research


  2. Jon Says:

    Did they? Can you provide a link or something on that?


  3. MattNW5 Says:

    In which case I am a moron too (and so is my wife). Peterfhjk – we’d all love to see some evidence that Arsenal got public money, rather than the widely reported impression that they paid for a brand new recycling centre at Lough Road and two enormous public bridges across the railway at either end of Drayton Park as well as financing the whole stadium themselves.


  4. George P Says:

    Funding details for the Emirates stadium are here:

    http://www.arsenal.com/emirates-stadium/emirates-stadium-history/frequently-asked-questions

    …A loan from a consortium of banks which arsenal are now in the process of paying off.

    No public money.


  5. Timothy Cox Says:

    Perhaps the charming petefhjk is referring to the fact that RBS (whose parent company the govt owns an 80+ per cent stake in) was one of the ‘private’ lenders? Quite a can of worms methinks.


  6. goonerista Says:

    Arsenal Plc did not receive any public funds for building Emirates, quite the opposite as they had to finance the rebuilding of the Waste and Recycling centre as well as the new infrastructure for public transportation and approx 2000 new homes. http://www.arsenal.com/155/unhoused-import-pages/latest-stadium-news/arsenal-confirms-funding-for-stadium-project


  7. MattNW5 Says:

    Except that the government had no interest in RBS at the time when it was all done.


  8. Genius Says:

    @petefhjk : i know all kinds of crowd manipulator, you have just used one of them. LOL , what? Arsenal got public money? Are British public from Emirates? or You don’t want others to see Arsenal “NOT” spending right now on transfers to clear the debt of the stadium. No other club other than Bayern Munich have done it as self-reliant as Arsenal… Even ManU built Extra-Big stadium , by getting extra(more than needed and entitled) money from the govt. after the wars.


  9. Genius Says:

    That Timothy Cox in comments is an imposter, maybe even petefhjk….. What is important to note is not loans, it is the free funds which we are against…. As Matt correctly points to the fact that at the time RBS was not under govt. And we gave funds back to the community in various ways.


  10. Tom Papworth Says:

    @Genius: An imposter, or possibly just Tim being sarcastic.


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