Barry Ferguson, the former captain of Scotland’s national football team, has entered bankruptcy on a voluntary basis having become insolvent and unable to service some very substantial debts.
The ex-Rangers star, aged 39, is understood to have had more than £1.4 million worth of outstanding debts as he entered bankruptcy.
Ferguson was until recently the manager of Clyde Football Club but stepped down from that post in February.
A key contributor to the former footballer’s financial problems is understood to be his receipt of payments via Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) from Rangers, his former employer, which recently lost a high profile legal battle with HMRC.
Ferguson is understood to have received in the region of £2.5 million in total via EBTs but he has since been ordered to repay money given to him in that manner.
He was subsequently left with sizable bills from HMRC which he was then unable to settle.
Another issue for the former footballer was his involvement in a film production operation called Eclipse, which has since been legally designated as being a tax avoidance scheme.
The Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland’s official insolvency service, approved Ferguson’s bankruptcy application in July.
Meanwhile, Rangers Football Club recently found itself on the wrong side of a court ruling in relation to EBTs, which it was accused of using to pay its players, managers and director in a way that effectively avoided taxation.
Judges in the case decided that those payments should have been viewed by relevant authorities as taxable earnings and not tax-free loans as Rangers had apparently been characterising them between 2001 and 2010.
In April 2016, the Supreme Court upheld a judgement that identified the Eclipse film production business, with which Ferguson had an association, as being in effect a tax avoidance scheme.
Hundreds of investors, including several former international football players and managers, were reported to be facing hefty tax repayment demands and possible bankruptcy as a result of that ruling.
If you live anywhere in Scotland and you’d like to know more about insolvency or bankruptcy then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. Contact us directly to arrange a free consultation.
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