MP names Man United and Wayne Rooney over 'image rights' probe; both deny wrongdoing

Manchester United are believed to be among those included within an image rights "tax-dodging" investigation, a Conservative MP in Britain has said.

Charlie Elphicke added fans should be angry that top football clubs and players including England and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney "stand accused of dirtying the beautiful game with a culture of excessive greed and tax-dodging".

Jennie Granger, HMRC's head of enforcement and compliance, earlier this month said 43 players and 12 football clubs in British leagues - alongside eight agents - are currently under investigation around the issue of image rights.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Elphicke said: "HM Revenue and Customs says it's investigating 43 Premier League players and 12 clubs for image rights tax-dodging, believed to include Manchester United.

"Would you agree fans are right to be angry that big clubs, including players like England captain Wayne Rooney, stand accused of dirtying the beautiful game with a culture of excessive greed and tax-dodging?"

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch replied: "I agree with you that those in football should protect the reputation of football.

"But you are asking me to comment on a matter that HMRC is still investigating, and football players, clubs, managers are treated no differently to others and are expected to adhere to the same principles."

Manchester United issued a statement which read: "The club operates within the rules set by football's governing bodies and HMRC has full visibility of all agreements and payments."

Rooney's spokesman told the Press Association: "All Wayne Rooney's tax affairs, including those involving his image rights, are conducted in full compliance with the law."

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