Reign in Spain: World Champion Carl Froch considers UK exit over tax pay-out frustration

The Daily Mail28th May, 2009

Carl Froch - Britain's only world champion boxer - has hit out at the tax system after revealing he is considering leaving the country to live in Spain.

The WBC super-middleweight title-holder feels he is being driven out of the country as he resents paying a 50 per cent tax on his ring earnings.

Froch, 31, would be following London heavyweight David Haye if he decides to quit Britain but he may delay the move until after he has retired.

Haye, who challenges WBO-IBF world champion Wladimir Klitschko in Germany on June 20, now lives in Northern Cyprus and Froch has discussed the subject of relocating with his old England amateur team-mate.

Froch, from Nottingham, suffered a financial blow when his stunning, last-gasp knockout of American Jermain Taylor was not shown live by any British television company.

But the unbeaten world champion will not be planning on relocating before his next fight, expected to be against Canadian Lucian Bute, the IBF champion, in a world title unification fight in Nottingham on September 5 or 12.

He said: 'I think it is a real shame that I am even thinking of moving abroad when I finish, because I love my country as much as any person. I wear the Union Jack on my shorts and it is there for a reason and I love my home city Nottingham.

'I don't want to leave England but I feel I might be forced to do so because 50 per cent tax is just so outrageous. You can't ask anyone to pay 50 per cent of what they earn on taxes, much of which is used just to prop up people who can't be bothered to work or who are fiddling the system.

'I have seriously thought about moving to Marbella in Spain and retiring there when I finish. Boxing is a very short career so you have to make some money while you can.

Hayemaker: British heavyweight boxer David Haye pays less tax now he has relocated to Cyprus

'Why should I give half of that to a government that just throws a lot of it away when I am the one in the ring? I am paying for MPs to spend it on cleaning their moats and buying duck houses.

'I just think it is outrageous of any government to take half your money straight away, at source, in taxes. I wouldn't mind it so much if the money that I was handing over went to good causes, but let's face it, a lot of it just doesn't.

'I have got mates of mine on the dole and are waiting to be housed and I know of children who can't get electronic wheelchairs. I don't mind paying taxes for that, or for the sick and elderly, but there are now so many people who are just happy to sit around doing nothing and expecting the rest of us to pay for them. It's wrong.

'I can't see a strong positive future by staying in this country. I've spoken to Nigel Benn about it and he lives over in Majorca and I've been learning Spanish for three years.

'I'm going to box on until I'm 36 because I don't take much hammer. When I finish I'm looking at getting out of the country but at the moment I need to be in the country for sparring and training.

'You get to stay 90 days in the country tax free but I don't think that would be enough for my boxing and I want to stay loyal to my fans.'

Froch now understands why other top British sportsmen have fled the UK for tax reasons.

He added: 'I know the likes of David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton, Nigel Benn and David Haye have all done it during their careers and I can see why.

'I speak to David Haye and he pays a pittance in taxes, lives in a lovely climate and says it was the best decision he ever made.'