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Supporting our clients on the path to Olympic success

Tokyo 2020 will live long in the memory, not least for the incredible achievements of Team GB.

The British Olympic team came fourth in the medal table, with 22 golds, 21 silvers and 22 bronze medals. This haul of 65 medals across 25 sports equals the tally won at London 2012, making Tokyo Team GB’s second most successful overseas Olympics (after Rio 2016).

It’s been a dramatic Olympics to say the least, with the heart-breaking lows of injuries to stars Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson and the highs for the likes of 13-year-old Sky Brown, who became the youngest British competitor of all time to win a medal at the Olympics, a world record for our 4 x 100m mixed medley relay team in the swimming and our very own Hannah Mills becoming the most successful female sailor in Olympic history, to mention but a few.

We’re proud that many of our clients achieved their ambitions of competing in Tokyo and delighted to have been able to assist them on their career journeys. Special congratulations go to our medal winners on the water and the track:

  • Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre, who won gold in the 470 sailing
  • Giles Scott, who won gold in the Finn class sailing for the second Olympics running
  • Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell, who won gold in the 49er sailing
  • John Gimson, silver medallist in the Nacra 17 sailing
  • Emma Wilson, windsurfing bronze medallist
  • Dina Asher-Smith, who claimed bronze in the 4 x 100m relay

The accounting and taxation of individual athletes is a very complex area, and PKF Francis Clark has broad experience in this niche sector.

As UK talent is identified, funding awards can be made from the National Lottery via UK Sport. The importance of these to aspiring Olympians is well understood by partner Martin Aldridge, whose daughter Ellie has been helped by lottery funding on the way to becoming Formula Kite European champion in 2019 and 2020. Ellie is now focused on Paris 2024.

These athlete performance grants are contingent on many factors, and as an athlete progresses and their profile rises these grants can be stripped back as a result of income generated through other sources, such as endorsements.

There are many questions for athletes to consider:

  • How do they account for their income?
  • When should they complete a tax return?
  • What are the implications when they train and compete overseas?
  • Should they file tax returns in an overseas jurisdiction?
  • Is a corporate structure appropriate?
  • What can they buy/not buy through their business?
  • When is a VAT registration appropriate?
  • How can they structure their contracts and income tax efficiently?

We’ve had the privilege of guiding some of the UK’s top athletes in this field for many years and take great pride in seeing them compete at the highest level across the globe. Their tax and accountancy requirements should not be a distraction or source of worry, and we’re there to ensure everything is taken care of, enabling our clients to focus fully on their training and competitions.

Here’s what some of our clients had to say…

Partner Martin Aldridge has looked after Sir Ben Ainslie since he first started out on his sailing journey and PKF Francis Clark also assists Giles Scott, who continued Ben’s dominance of the Finn class by winning Olympic gold in 2016 and 2021.

members of team ineos
Martin Aldridge of PKF Francis Clark with Sir Ben Ainslie at INEOS TEAM UK headquarters in Portsmouth

Ben said: “PKF Francis Clark have provided financial support services across a range of areas for many years and latterly to the INEOS TEAM UK race team since their inception… If they cannot answer a question, they always have the resources in the team to find out the answer and give a speedy response.”

Hannah Mills said: “I have worked with Martin and the PKF team for a number of years. It gives me a great sense of comfort knowing that my financial affairs are in order and I can concentrate 100% on my sailing. They are extremely responsive and I never have any worries contacting them with a question or a concern. They have a thorough understanding of sport and dealing with HMRC. I regard them as part of my support team and would highly recommend them to all athletes.”

Dina Asher-Smith, British Olympic team captain and reigning world 200m champion, said: “I’m glad that we have moved our business to PKF Francis Clark. Tamsin Tully and her team worked hard to ensure our affairs are in order and have been very proactive with their advice and guidance. I was surprised at how accessible the team are and they can be relied upon to answer queries quickly by telephone, email or text. I would not hesitate to recommend.”

Find out more about our professional sports specialists.

FEATURING: Martin Aldridge
Martin is based in the Poole office. He trained with Grant Thornton before joining a predecessor firm of PKF Francis Clark, becoming a partner in… read more
FEATURING: Tamsin Tully
Tamsin is a Chartered Accountant at the forefront of our sports accountants team. She specialises in providing accountancy and taxation advice to sports professionals and the businesses… read more
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