Sports: getting your structure and contract right

24th February 2016

The winter football transfer window closed at midnight on February 1 2016 ending a month of speculation about transfer fees, image rights, and sports stars contract rights. 

Sports contracts and especially professional footballers and managers’ contracts are increasingly complex documents and the structuring increasingly important. 

Neymar and FC Barcelona

The Brazilian footballer Neymar’s contract with Barcelona is a prime example of the financial complexity that can occur in the modern sporting environment.

In an unprecedented show of transparency, FC Barcelona revealed the details of the contract on their website in 2014. 

Whilst Barcelona ‘own’ Neymar, they also had to reach agreements with other organisations that held a financial interest in the player. 

These included:

Fundació Neymar Jr. which was a commercial agency who link Neymar’s image with the FC Barcelona in Brazil, an agreement with 

his previous club Santos concerning academy players 

N&N, who will scout young talent for Barcelona at Santos

Even the payments for Neymar were not straightforward. 17 million euro went to Santos and the remaining 40 million euros as ‘compensation’ to N&N. N&N are Neymar’s parents and for compensation read commission as his father is also his primary agent. 

The financial complexities of Neymar’s deal with Barcelona resulted in the club being closely scrutinised by the Spanish press and legally investigated too.

Getting the structure right

Footballers are not the only sportspeople whose structures and contracts are complex they are just the highest profile. 

Most successful sportsmen and women will have to negotiate and structure their image rights, endorsements and sponsorship deals. Accountants can assist with these elements and work with agents and lawyers however they are also engaged to ensure they are financially legal and to the best possible financial and taxation advantage of their client. 

How we can help

Here at Brebners, we can provide a number of services to sportspeople. 

These services include:

tax structuring pre UK residency if required

personal financial management

collecting income and paying bills

managing bank accounts

providing regular financial reports

preparing and filing VAT returns

UK company accounts

setting up UK and offshore image rights companies

personal tax advice and tax return work.

Secretarial services, dealing with areas such as travel arrangements, insurance and property purchases and sales can also be facilitated.

We can also review the financial aspects of any contracts in conjunction with agents and lawyers.

For more information on Brebners contact Julia Hoyle today on 020 7734 2244.