14 February 2011

Why Premier League football is not taxing

*Anyone with an interest in Premier League football in this country must surely have wondered many times how such finely tuned athletes can be so fragile. Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Robin van Persie to name but a few...all enormous men at the peak of physical fitness, yet they all seem to spend more time in treatment clinics in Santa Barbara than Charlie Sheen.

Why people? Why?

Well..up until this morning all I knew for sure was there was something more to this than meets the eye. They couldn't all have the pain threshold of Elton John. This morning one of my agents, a black Labrador puppy called Snapper, sent me a dossier which exposes the truth behind this trend of mysterious long term injuries amongst elite players and explains in detail why the likes of Wayne Rooney are such dreadful twats.

Disillusioned: Snapper yesterday

The truth is these injuries do not exist. Of course they don't. The reason these players are visiting orthopedic clinics in Germany and the USA for such extended periods throughout the season (when there are perfectly good specialists in this country) and more recently, why Wayne Rooney was allowed to enjoy holidays in Dubai and America, is to allow them to manouevere their way around the UK's complicated taxation laws, essentially qualifying them for a sort of non-dom status thus avoiding paying the 50p tax rate.

This is a deal clubs have made with players in order to prevent a mass exodus to Spain where taxes are something you just sort of pay if you feel like it. In order to avoid losing half their salaries before their bank accounts have even received them, players have to be out of the country for 183 days of the year, plus lie a lot about some other stuff and pretend to be their own wives on occasions.

This is why players are less likely to back out of meaningless friendlies abroad and why no English team wants to draw Rangers in the group stages as it's one less opportunity to be out of Britain. And obviously because Glasgow gives you nightmares.

Physios are drafted in to clubs to create nondescript injuries that have no clear time scale for rehabilitation. This explains why broken bones are actually rare in the game despite how ostensibly fragile these players seem to be an how physical the game has supposedly become.

The heeling period for a broken bone is too specific, there is no scope for the player to "break down in training." Much better to be plagued by strains, sprains, pulls and tweeks..that can occur any time of the financial year and take months to heal.

As we speak the 5 most common injuries sustained by the highest earning players last year were; Hamstring strain, sprained ankle, knee cartilage tear, hernia (including sore cock) and anterior cruciate ligament thingy. All injuries that can take anything from a couple of weeks to half a season to heal and even then, rarely is the player considered 100% fit.

A what!?: Torres suffers an anterior cruciate ligament pull strain, one
of the most common injuries amongst the game's elite players since
50p rate of tax was introduced.

The implications of these financial gymnastics of course mean many many elite footballers are, as we suspected, dreadful twats. Dreadful dreadful greedy twats. But as long as the taxation system for the ultra-wealthy remain the same, I'm afraid they will remain dreadful greedy twats until the game collapses under the weight of it's own debts and it's played once again by men called Wilf who work second jobs as dustbin men and smoke at half-time.

*all of this was made up by me this morning when I couldn't sleep so got up early.

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