Manchester City tops the UK Offshore League
Manchester City tops the UK Offshore League
Today, The Offshore Game published the first edition of the Offshore Football League. The league ranks football clubs in the UK’s professional football leagues on an index based on the amount of finance they received from offshore and the secrecy of the finance they receive. The full report can be downloaded here:
In total the offshore league team found £3bn in loans and shares owned by companies based offshore in the UK’s professional leagues. This finance was found in 34 teams – 25% of British professional football clubs.
All levels of football were represented, from giants Manchester United to League 2 Shrewsbury Town, although clubs more heavily reliant on offshore finance tended to be in the English Championship and Premiership.
The total finance figure breaks down into £1.1bn in debt and £1.8bn in equity. However, the equity figure is vastly dependent on three teams, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City who between them have £1.5bn in equity held by offshore vehicles. Without these three teams the debt to equity ratio is reversed to approximately £900m debt to £400m equity.
Manchester United had the most offshore finance, accounting for third of the value of the league with just over £1bn. That was made up of £882,922,000 in shareholder funds at Red Football Limited, the largest company in their UK structure to present consolidated accounts. Red Football Limited is eventually owned by Manchester United PLC registered in the Cayman Islands. A further £171,497,000 in debt was issued by their finance subsidiary MU Finance PLC. The loans come in the form of loan notes listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange
However, not all offshore pounds are equal. To create the Offshore League the team also looked at the secrecy of offshore financial centres from where their money came from. To do this we used the Financial Secrecy Index developed by the Tax Justice Network.
When we add secrecy it is Man U’s rivals Manchester City that top the Offshore League. Manchester City has £445,770,264 in finance coming from the United Arab Emirates. This is in the form of £435,262,000 in equity owned by Abu Dhabi United Group Investment & Development Limited. A further £10,900,000 has been loaned by Abu Dhabi United Group to Brookshaw Developments, one of Manchester City Football Club Limited’s subsidiary companies. The United Arab Emirates have a significantly higher secrecy score than both the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg (themselves no beacons of transparency).
After Man City follows Bolton, Bournemouth and Spurs. Bolton and Spurs are owned by companies in Bermuda and the Bahamas. Bournemouth appears so far up the table because we were entirely unable to determine the jurisdiction where their parent company, AFCB Enterprises Limited was registered, never mind starting to assess its transparency.
|Team||Offshore holding||Jurisdiction||Total Finance Offshore||Proportion Finance from Offshore||Score|
|Totals and Averages||£2,956,752,552||42%||455|
|1||Man City||Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development||Abu Dhabi UAE||£445,770,264||69%||683|
|2||Bolton||Fildraw Private Trust Company Limited||Bermuda||£151,305,001||70%||646|
|3||Bournemouth||AFCB Enterprises Limited||Unknown||£20,815,394||59%||644|
|5||Man Utd||Manchester United PLC||Cayman Islands||£1,054,419,000||66%||614|
|7||Fulham||Big Cat Holdings Ltd||Bermuda||£13,439,000||19%||570|
|9||Rangers||Blue Pitch Holdings||Unknown||£5,732,446||7%||569|
|10||QPR||Tune QPR SND BHD||Malaysia||£165,684,001||80%||551|
|11||Coventry City||Sconset LP||Cayman Islands||£43,976,553||93%||535|
|12||Arsenal||KSE UK Inc||USA||£242,919,266||33%||512|
|13||Preston North End||Wordon Limited||IoM||£30,406,000||73%||501|
|14||Dundee Football Club||Football Partnership Scotland||Unknown||£277,253||28%||479|
|15||Liverpool||UKSV I LLC||USA||£127,924,000||41%||470|
|16||Albion Rovers||Clifton Ordinary Suspense||Unknown||£214,097||19%||469|
|17||Dumbarton||Granada Enterprises Limited||Belize||£643,604||57%||465|
|18||Aston Villa||Reform Acquisitions LLC||USA||£94,627,283||40%||463|
|19||Cheltenham Town||CTFC Investments||Unknown||£180,153||6%||462|
|21||Birmingham||Birmingham International Holdings||Cayman Islands||£3,847,001||12%||460|
|22||Southend United||Mezcal Investments||BVI||£4,584,410||39%||440|
|23||Shrewsbury Town||Jafreen Holdings||BVI||£3,370,495||24%||431|
|24||Derby||General Sports Derby Partners LLC||USA||£26,706,665||46%||431|
|25||Millwall||Chestnut Hill Ventures LLC||USA||£18,213,001||69%||421|
|26||Sheffield Wednesday||UK Football Investments LLC||USA||£13,224,000||53%||413|
|27||Blackburn Rovers||Venkateshwara Hatcheries Pvt Ltd||India||£38,997,444||51%||349|
|29||Watford||Hornets Management SARL||Luxembourg||£24,077||0%||294|
|30||Leicester||King Power International||Thailand||£117,761,001||90%||258|
|31||Ipswich||Marcus Evans Investments Ltd||Bermuda||£75,437,001||79%||167|
|32||Sheffield United Ltd||UTB LLC||West indies||£1||0%||84|
|33||Hartlepool United||Dove Energy||BVI||£1||0||66|
To download the full offshore game report for free click here