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John Barnes was barred from corporate board positions due to unpaid taxes



John Barnes, the former England footballer, has been barred from serving as a company director due to unpaid taxes amounting to over £190,000 after his media firm, which provided media representation services, failed  to pay taxes on income exceeding £400,000.

John Barnes, the former England footballer, has been banned from serving as a company director over unpaid taxes of more than £190,000 after his media company, which provided media representation services, failed to pay tax on income of more than £400,000.

Barnes, known for his football career that included 79 caps for England and spells at prestigious clubs such as Liverpool and Newcastle United, faces a three-and-a-half year disqualification from running companies, as issued by the Insolvency Service.

The agency announced that Barnes’ company, John Barnes Media Limited, had failed to meet tax obligations from 2018 to 2020, culminating in its liquidation in May of the previous year following a liquidation request from HM Revenue and Customs. An investigation by the Insolvency Service then followed from September. Barnes founded the company as sole director in September 2012.

In response, Barnes has agreed to a disqualification bond, which bars his involvement in the promotion, creation or management of companies without judicial sanction.

Mike Smith, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said Barnes had a “legal duty” to ensure his company paid the correct corporation tax and VAT.

“Individuals and businesses who do not pay the taxes they should are depriving the government of the funding it needs to deliver vital public services and investments in areas such as schools, hospitals and roads,” he said.

Barnes, whose football career spanned from playing for Watford to managing Celtic, and who was honored with an MBE in 1998, ventured into entrepreneurial pursuits after retirement. Notably, together with former footballers Les Ferdinand and Luther Blissett, he co-founded Team 48 Motorsport, aimed at supporting young drivers with an African-Caribbean background. However, this initiative was eventually disbanded.

Barnes has openly acknowledged his past financial management challenges and admitted to imprudent spending habits during his football career. Looking back on his earlier years, he candidly acknowledged extravagant purchases such as an Aston Martin and lavish clothing.