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ESPN – Blaise Matuidi at his best but couldn’t stop PSG falling to heavy Barca defeat

Luis Suarez erupts in the second half with two brilliant solo goals seeing Barcelona defeat PSG in France in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. ESPN FC's Craig Burley praises Barcelona's front three after dismantling PSG in Paris. Barcelona's Luis Suarez gave the Blaugrana a commanding lead with two spectacular goals against PSG. Barcelona forward Luis Suarez discusses his performance against PSG and looks ahead to the second leg at Camp Nou. PARC DES PRINCES, PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain face the tallest of orders after a 3-1 pasting in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal against Barcelona on Wednesday. Two Luis Suarez goals and another from Neymar put Laurent Blanc's depleted side to the sword and PSG must now score three times at Camp Nou — without conceding! — if they are to advance to the semifinals. In losing to the Catalan giants, Les Parisiens' impressive 33-game unbeaten home run in Europe is over….

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GUARDIAN – Twenty-eight English clubs are now owned overseas, increasing the risk of tax avoidance | David Conn

Research by the Guardian and the Tax Justice Network reveals 28 English clubs with substantial shareholdings overseas, opening up the football leagues to criticism for allowing ownership structures that could be used for tax avoidance• Why are English clubs owned overseas? Their responsesAlmost one in three of the 92 Premier and Football League clubs are now substantially owned overseas, including in offshore tax havens, leading to the English football leagues being accused of allowing ownership structures of clubs that could be used for tax avoidance. Research into the ownership of all the clubs by the Guardian and the campaign group the Tax Justice Network has found 28 clubs with a substantial shareholding overseas, including nine of the 20 Premier League clubs.The Tax Justice Network, which has produced its own report, The Offshore Game, argues the ownership of football club shares via offshore companies means there is “huge potential for tax avoidance” when the clubs are sold. There is no suggestion any particular club or owner has engaged in tax avoidance; however, owners residing abroad, who hold shares in clubs through companies registered overseas, may not be liable for UK capital gains tax – currently 28% for higher rate, wealthier, tax payers – on the profits they make when they sell a club. The huge rise in offshore ownership of clubs, which were almost all UK-owned until the wave of overseas buyers moved in around a decade ago, has coincided with steepling increases in television rights and the value of clubs, in the Premier League, and in the Championship for clubs with a prospect of promotion. “The ownership of billions of pounds worth of assets through offshore shell companies means there is a huge potential for tax avoidance,” said George Turner, author of the Tax Justice Network’s report. “This should be of great concern to fans around the country, who invest so much time, commitment, emotion and money into their clubs. Continue reading…

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