Hull City loses fight with taxman over Geovanni payments

Hull City have lost a fight with the taxman over an image rights agreement with former midfielder Geovanni.

Bosses had paid more than £400,000 to an offshore company in respect of the Brazilian’s image rights over two years after he signed in the summer of 2008.

Officials at HM Revenue & Customs said the payments were earnings and should attract tax.

Club bosses challenged the decision but a specialist judge has dismissed their appeal.

“I am not making a finding that the image rights agreement was a sham,” said judge Jonathan Cannan, in a ruling published following a tax tribunal hearing in Manchester.

“I am satisfied that the club viewed the sums payable under the playing contract and the image rights agreement as an overall package which Geovanni required and the club was willing to pay for him to sign for the club.”

He added: “In reality payments … were a reward for Geovanni’s services as a footballer and formed part of his earnings.”

The judge said the Brazilian’s full name was Geovanni Gomez but explained how he was known as “Geovanni”.

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