Former Ireland star Steve Staunton files for bankruptcy

Ex-footballer and manager invested in film scheme investigated by UK revenue

Photograph: Steve Staunton with Robbie Keane at a Croke Park press conference. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Photograph: Steve Staunton with Robbie Keane at a Croke Park press conference. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Former Republic of Ireland and Aston Villa footballer Steve Staunton filed for bankruptcy in the UK in April of this year.

Staunton, who also managed the Irish team for a short period in 2006 and 2007, had invested in film companies under Ingenious Media, the Sun on Sunday newspaper reported.

The company, which has attracted investments from a number of former professional footballers, has been in dispute with the British revenue over alleged tax avoidance.

The Sun reported that Staunton (47) declared himself bankrupt three months before some of Ingenious Media’s investors received accelerated payment notices earlier this year, demanding that they repay tax. It is not known whether Staunton received one of the notices.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on Staunton’s part.

Several Irish football stars were among hundreds of celebrities in Britain facing large tax bills, after UK tax authorities claimed victory in a landmark £1.6 billion legal case over investments in disputed film finance deals.

Robbie Keane and John O’Shea, the Ireland team’s manager Martin O’Neill, and former stars Clinton Morrison, Denis Irwin and David O’Leary were among the investors affected by the case.

The long-running battle concerned the tax treatment of investments made since 2003 in film finance partnerships assembled by Ingenious Media.

The 66 films financed under the schemes include box-office hits Avatar, Die Hard 4, Life of Pi and Shaun of the Dead.

The crux of the case lies in the tax treatment of accounting losses claimed by the schemes.