The Offshore Game is a project set up by the Tax Justice Network to look at the role of offshore finance in sports.
Modern sports are awash with money, and often than money ends up being washed, taken offshore and laundered through clubs, sponsorship deals, image rights, ticket deals and other means into the pockets of a small elite.
One only has to look at the vast amount of money collected by FIFA, often extracted from countries tax free, and where it ends up, to conclude that not all is well in the financial governance of sport.
In England and Scotland’s football leagues clubs have crashed in spectacular style after they were loaded up with debt and failed to perform. Often their owners, hiding behind secrecy jurisdictions can float away, lacking any accountability.
In the offshore game, the losers are always the fans. It is the fans that provide the funding through tickets, TV subscriptions and expensive sporting goods. If their club fails, they lose much more than just money.
The Offshore Game is a group of researchers, journalists and people involved in the sports industry who believe that sport is far too important to be the plaything of an offshore financial elite. That sport is at its best when there is a fair competition. Financial as well as physical.
Through our research we hope to shine a light on the scale of offshore finance in sports and some of its impacts.
We want to give fans the tools to hold their teams to account, to help them understand who owns their dreams, and what they are doing with them.