Bernie Ecclestone just misses top spot on UK’s top taxpayers list

Bernie Ecclestone had to pay £652.6 million in taxes to HMRC in the UK.

Ex-Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone picked up the number two spot on the UK’s top taxpayers list, following a lengthy legal battle with the UK tax authorities.

Ecclestone had to pay HMRC a staggering £652.6 million consisting of tax and penalties, after being forced to settle a debt.

His giant payment has boosted him into second on the Sunday Times’ UK taxpayer list, behind Russian-born financial trader Alex Gerko.

Gerko topped the list which presumably no one would actually want to top, as he paid HMRC £664.5 million in taxes.

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It means Ecclestone was just under £12 million away from going straight to the top of the list.

“Bernie Ecclestone, having contributed £652.6m this year, was a one-off win for the public finances,” said Robert Watts, who makes the list for the Sunday Times.

“Without that payment, the total take on this year’s taxes would have been down on last year.”

What being second on the list does mean for Ecclestone is that he remains as one of the richest people in the UK.

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Whilst the 93-year-old came second on the UK taxpayers list, F1 owner’s Liberty Media were named as the “world’s most valuable sports empires”.

They were named this after topping the list in Forbes Magazine, with Liberty Media now having a ridiculous value of $18.22 billion.

F1 has boosted this value the most compared to their other sports assets, highlighting the current popularity of the pinnacle of motorsport.

Second on Forbes’ list behind Liberty Media were Kroene Sports and Entertainment, who own NFL side the Los Angeles Rams, NBA outfit Denver Nuggets and London football club Arsenal FC to name a few.

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Their overall value has risen by 22%, with them being worth $15.59 billion.

In third on the list with an overall value of $12.95 billion, is the Fenway Sports Group, who own the likes of the MLB side the Boston Red Sox, NHL team the Pittsburgh Penguins and English football club Liverpool FC.

Forbes’ list truly shows the impact F1 has had on Liberty Media’s overall value, especially when the company actually suffered a drop in one of their assets.