"Clubs are making up to 300,000 euros in illegal payments"

Research undertaken by Leuven University together with the polytechnic PXL-Hasselt has revealed that one in three amateur football clubs acknowledges making undeclared payments to players. Some clubs in provincial leagues are paying up to 300,000 euros a year in this way.

The clubs are motivated to make the undeclared payments as they have more cash to hand out when tax can be evaded. VRT's Panorama programme earlier sparked the authorities to act after it uncovered the scope of the practices. Thenew survey conducted among 1200 Flemish clubs shows that undeclared payments haven’t been eradicated.

The research reveals clubs are making fewer undeclared payments but are taking greater efforts to avoid paying tax. More presents, vouchers and benefits in kind are being handed out. Players' homes are being renovated and more players are enjoying the befit of a company car.

Running a football club costs between 50,000 and 300,000 euros a year. Ticket sales and sponsorship often don't raise sufficient funds to provide good declared payments for players encouraging the practice of undeclared payments.