Perhaps the glitterati of the beautiful game should stick to what they know – a bunch of men running around a muddy field kicking a ball.

According to the Sunday Times a bunch of football’s biggest bosses and best-known players are facing the threat of enormous tax bills after investing in a series of less than straightforward movie and property schemes.

The schemes were recommended by a couple of financial advisers who were already making waves for giving suspect advice to a whole load of Premier League footballers.

Who’s due for a scary tax bill if HMRC wins the argument?

Those due to be stung for tax include Republic of Ireland team manager Martin O’Neill, Newcastle United’s head coach Steve McClaren and Stuart Pearce, the former Nottingham Forest manager. HM Revenue & Customs has challenged the schemes and if it wins the battle, proving they were designed for tax avoidance, the investors could be forced to pay back millions of pounds between them.

Apparently the potentially toxic advice came from the Nottingham-based IFA firm Kingsbridge Asset Management, and the pair sit at the heart of a scandal concerning around 100 ex-Premier League players and other high-ups in the game, who together face a whopping £100 million tax bill.

More than a million in commission payments

The Sunday Times reports the two advisers, David McKee and Kevin McMenamin , netted an awesome one million pounds or more in commission on the investments over a four year period. It looks like the IFAs’  “repeated failure to grasp the consequences rendered much of their advice inept, and many of the products were highly inappropriate and mis-sold”.

The two men are denying allegations of mis-selling, claiming they warned their clients about the risks, advising all of them properly about the suitability and the risks, and telling them investments of that kind should always be part of a balanced portfolio.

Loads of dosh to invest in tax-saving schemes?

Our advice to wealthy people with loads of dosh to invest in tax-saving schemes? If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If it feels like you’re avoiding tax, you probably are. If the returns seem too generous, they probably are.

It doesn’t take much more than everyday common sense to see when things don’t quite look right. And if it isn’t clear enough, there’s a powerful case for plain language in an industry well know for its complex jargon and extraordinarily complicated  investment vehicles.

In the meantime look out for the next tax scandal. There’s sure to be one.