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Former Liverpool footballer banned as company director

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John Barnes, the former Liverpool and England footballer has been disqualified as a company director for three and a half years.

The ban relates to his media company, which did not pay tens of thousands of pounds in VAT and corporation tax.

The Insolvency Service began an investigation after John Barnes Media Ltd went into liquidation last year.

It found that between 2018 and 2020, the company failed to pay more than £190k in corporation tax and VAT, with HM Revenue and Customs its only known creditor when it ceased trading. 

“Individuals and businesses not paying the tax they should deprives the government of the funding it needs to provide vital public services and investment in areas such as schools, hospitals and roads,” said Mike Smith, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service.

“John Barnes had a legal duty to ensure his company paid the correct amount of corporation tax and VAT. Instead, it paid no tax whatsoever between November 2018 and October 2020, despite receiving earnings of well over £400,000.

“This disqualification should serve as a deterrent to other directors that if you do not pay your taxes while directing money elsewhere, you are at risk of being banned.”

Barnes, whose business address is Park Court, Pyrford Road, West Byfleet, Surrey, has signed a disqualification undertaking banning him from being a company director for the next three-and-a-half years. 

The former footballer, who earned 79 England caps, formed the company in 2012. He was the sole director in John Barnes Media Limited, which offered media representation services. 

Between November 2018 and October 2020, its turnover was £441,798, but nothing was paid to HM Revenue and Customs in tax during that period, despite the company filing returns showing what the VAT payments should have been. 

The Insolvency Service’s investigation showed that John Barnes Media failed to pay £78,839 in corporation tax between August 2018 and January 2020, when the company ceased trading. The company also failed to pay £115,272 in VAT between February 2019 and 2020. 

The ban started on 24th April and means he will be prevented from being involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court. 

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