‘Every penny counts’ - Lily Agg aiming to help fellow footballers secure financial future

Ireland international and Birmingham midfielder has set up a tax advisory firm to help and educate new professionals in a changing world

It was after the Irish women’s national team arrived home from the Women’s World Cup that Lily Agg, Birmingham FC player and qualified teacher, thought it was time to put into an action an idea that had been in her head for years.

“I’ve always been interested in money and business, how to make money, and make your money work for you,” says Agg, “[in women’s football], you don’t really get paid that much initially. Every penny counts.”

“Going away with Ireland, we have quite a few talks in regards to our pay. It’s confusing in the sense that if the Ireland money is going into an Irish or a UK bank account, how much tax do you pay? We had the stuff with the World Cup, and obviously Australia taxed all that money originally and took a hefty chunk of what we thought we were getting and there was just so many questions and no one really had the answers.”

That confusion prompted her to start something that had been on the back of her mind for years: LA Tax Advisory, a specialist tax-advisory firm for women footballers, where she is in partnership with Griffiths and Pegg, chartered accountants in the UK.


Most of the Irish WNT are playing in England, either in the top-tier Women’s Super League (where the average salary in 2023 was £47,000) or the Championship. Some went to the World Cup in Australia, some have brand deals and ambassador roles, they have equal pay with Irish men’s team but ultimately, they all have taxes to pay and – likely – expenses to claim.

“When you open up to it, there’s so many ways we can help ourselves out. Sharing knowledge is key. I genuinely feel for women footballers, especially being someone that used to teach in the mornings, go to football ... I was doing 7am til 7pm, giving 120 per cent a day, absolutely shattered.”

Agg has experience with tax returns, and “doing research to save yourself or earn money. I ended up sorting out my own taxes, and then expenses I could claim for and filing those. I just started doing that myself and then helping one or two friends and so on, then I’d get better at it.”

Her role in LA Tax Advisory is to act as a sort of tax-translator/intermediary between the qualified accountants and the professional footballers. “My role is obviously getting all the forms, getting the expenses, I’m on Zoom calls with them, explaining and helping, submit that through to Adrian [in Griffiths and Pegg], and that goes direct to His Majesty Revenue & Customs, so it’s trustworthy, it’s accurate, it’s all done in the best way.

“Irish taxes are different to UK taxes, so if money comes into an Irish bank account, you can keep it there, but if you bring it to the UK you will then be taxed on it. It’s figuring out those things. It’s very personal, dependent on the person.”

The actual accounting, and tax advisory she leaves to the professionals. “I don’t deal with the fees, I’m not seeing what people earn, I don’t want to have a conflict of interest. I want players to know that they can come to me, but it’s not that I’m looking at your paycheck and going ‘oh, she earns that much.’”

Expenses are, she jokes, the “free money” part of the process, if you put the time and effort in. Agg, unlike the accountants, has a better idea of what kind of expenses players have. “An example is my housemate [Georgie Stokes], who is a Birmingham City player. She’s currently on loan to Stoke, she’s only young, just turned 21. She drives to Stoke two times a week and then she also drives to the away games. She’s not on a lucrative contract. Knowing that she should be able to claim that mileage back, and she’s a goalkeeper, her gloves, her boots and things like that she should get money back for. It’s putting those things in place to help people and it goes such a long way.”

She now has a streamlined form, based on her own experience, that she sends to clients. “It’s taken me a bit of time to get a form that gives clarity, so that people can look at it and go ‘Oh, anytime I didn’t travel with a team bus, I can claim’ and it’s done in a simple format. It’s broken down already, so it’s quite easy. Whereas a normal accountant, they don’t necessarily give you a template, they’re just expecting you to tell them your expenses.”

Clarifying the tax process is beneficial for athletes, allowing more time to focus on football. “You can say to people last year, ‘how many pairs of boots did you go through?’ And people are like ‘God, I didn’t buy the ones that were £260 because I didn’t want to pay that much.’ Whereas if you know you can expense your boots and you know you’ll get it back, you want to invest in the best quality boots, the best quality products to make you the best athlete you can be.”

When Agg first became a professional footballer, “money wasn’t even a thing. So I always needed that second career path.” The industry is changing, though, the younger crop of players coming up “don’t necessarily need to have another job now, which is incredible and brilliant, but you also want to make sure that if they are earning a good wage from it, they’re looking after that.”

As women’s football continues to grow, Agg hopes that providing this type of service will equip female footballers with the tools to secure their financial futures, and to ensure that the next generation of players can thrive on and off the field.

“I think with this business idea in terms of helping people with their tax, I think it will go further helping people eventually with their money and what they want to do with it.”