Belfast Telegraph

As Premier League clubs see business rates cut, small firms suffer

Some of the Premier League's richest football clubs will kick off the new season with a business rates cut, while many small firms are facing major hikes, new research has shown.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea will all enjoy lower taxes for 2017/18 because the value of their stadiums have fallen under the Government's controversial rates review earlier this year.

Chelsea, owned by billionaire Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, will see its bill trimmed by £35,618 to £1.99 million for 2017/18, according to n ew figures from business rates specialists CVS.

The data seen by the Press Association shows Arsenal's business rates will come down by £58,812 to £3.32 million, while Liverpool's will fall by £31,000 to £2.18 million and Manchester United's will decline by £50,519 to £3.21 million.

The revelation comes as a raft of small businesses saw the amount they pay rise - in some cases by 3,000% - when rateable values were updated on April 1.

New rateable values determine tax bills for the next five years and are based upon property valuations as of April 1 2015.

Mark Rigby, chief executive of CVS, said: "Because of the complex way the business rates system works, we're actually comparing valuations from 2008 and 2015.

"So we're really looking at which clubs, or at least their properties, have performed the best in the round over that seven year period.

"Leicester City's rise from third-tier to top-tier football means the value of their stadium has shot up and the same is true of other big climbers such as Swansea City, Southampton and Burnley.

"For the traditional big clubs, rates have been more stable and even fallen in some cases."

In contrast to their Premier League rivals, Manchester City will have to fork out an extra £366,275 after seeing their business rates rise by 20% to £2.22 million.

The Football Association will stomach the largest bill for Wembley Stadium, the home of Tottenham Hotspur for the upcoming season, which has risen by 11% to £3.53 million.

However, Swansea has emerged as the biggest loser from the review after the value of the Liberty Stadium soared by 300% to £1.20 million, causing its business rates costs to jump by 310% to £598,800 for 2017/18.

In total, the amount paid in business rates by Premier League clubs has increased by 10% to £25.77 million for the new season.

It means the overall business rates bill for top-flight football clubs is only 0.7% of the total revenues of £3.6 billion they recorded last year, according to CVS.

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