Man Utd ‘in talks’ with HMRC over ‘large unpaid tax bill’ as Ratcliffe faces transfer nightmare

Joe Williams
Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe's plans could be impacted by an unpaid tax bill.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s transfer strategy at Man Utd could be impacted by a ‘large unpaid tax bill’ at the club, according to reports.

It has been good news on the pitch for the Red Devils over the weekend with Erik ten Hag guiding his side to a 4-3 victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

HMRC ‘holding talks’ with Man Utd

Ten Hag had been coming under pressure in recent weeks over his side’s performances with Man Utd out of the Champions League and sitting in sixth place in the Premier League.

There have been rumours that Ratcliffe, who completed a deal to buy 25 per cent of the club from the Glazers last month, could replace Ten Hag while he also looks to overhaul the recruitment department.

Dan Ashworth is expected to lead recruitment if they can agree a compensation fee with Newcastle to release the sporting director with Ratcliffe planning a summer of change.

However, that could be severely restricted as the I newspaper reports that HMRC are ‘holding talks’ with Man Utd ‘about the amount of tax paid on arrangements with players and agents in what could hamper future transfer budgets.’

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The report adds:

‘With financial regulations biting in the Premier League, if the club is forced to pay significant money to the UK tax authorities it could further hinder spending power in the upcoming transfer windows. The club do not yet know how much they may have to pay.

‘United were unable to spend liberally in January due to needing to balance the books and the outcome of discussions with HMRC, around the interpretation of rules regarding the amount of tax owed on dealings with players and their representatives, will likely impact budgets.’

One player who Man Utd have reportedly considered selling ahead of the summer transfer window is Antony, although they are unlikely to get anywhere near the £85m they spent on him in the summer of 2022.

Antony has yet to provide a goal or an assist in 22 Premier League matches this season but he did bag a crucial goal to take the match to extra time against Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday.

“It was a very important goal, it gave us the chance to go to extra-time and try to win,” Antony said after the match.

“Personally, it was a very important moment for me, I needed that goal. At no point did I stop thinking about it and working.

“It’s games like this that show our values and I believe this will motivate everyone for the season. It was a game that we had to help in every way and I managed to score the equaliser.

“I have also been training my right leg, to make it better and I have done my best to help in the defence, acting as a winger.

“It was a time for everyone to donate, whatever their position. We came together there and achieved an incredible turnaround.”

Antony: I have been working silently to evolve

On his struggles at Man Utd since joining, Antony added: “It has been a period of a lot of learning. I try to learn from each criticism, understand where I can improve.

“I have been working silently to evolve and show my football on the field. I know my potential and I know why Manchester United hired me. I want to repay all of this on the field.

“My team-mates are giving me a lot of confidence, my family too. This is important and gives me a lot of confidence.

“In the opportunity the coach gave me, I managed to be decisive and help. I’m grateful to Manchester United, it was my lifelong dream to be here.”