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southbankbornnbred 11:16 Wed Oct 21
Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Had cause to go back through the Swindon Town FC tax scandal (1984-1992) for something I'm writing.

He was acquitted of all charges, of course, and therefore he is an innocent man - let me make that clear. But given the information and testimony which emerged from the trial I find it surprising that Lou Macari (our former boss) walked away unscathed.

Swindon's chairman, and the club's accountant, bore the brunt of the jury's wrath instead - although the accountant received a six-month suspended sentence only.

The other thing that struck me was the short length of the sentences - a year for the chairman Hillier and six-months (suspended) for the accountant: for crimes committed against the then Inland Revenue and which took years to investigate at huge further cost to taxpayers.

These news clips are well worth viewing (if only for the superb 1980s/early 90s clothes and barnets!).

The testimonies of the players - who were all given immunity from prosecution if they gave evidence - reveal the extent of the scam.

- Basic wages topped up by undeclared cash payments.
- Macari arranging 'complicated contracts' for players.
- Tax-free bonuses for getting married.
- Payments for cars hidden.
- Undeclared cash payments for promotion.
- £20,000 payments for a house negotiated 'on the side' with Macari.
- Players able to live rent free.
- Undeclared signing-on fees.

Every player who gave evidence testified that they negotiated their contracts and 'personal deals' with Macari. But, in his defence, Macari said he had no idea that the tax obligations on the payments were not being met by Swindon Town FC. He was cleared on that basis.

One board member who tried to blow the whistle on the scam told the court Macari had said at a meeting "I can break any rule I wish to". Macari, for the record, denied that.

Bonkers period in football history which pre-dates the crazy money of the Premier League era (some of the wages mentioned in the film are £400 a week etc). And an often-forgotten scandal which involved, rightly or wrongly, our (briefly) former manager.

He did buy Ludo, though. Which makes him alright by my (well-kept and legally accurate) books...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4tNpw4Ly9w

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Dan M 1:48 Fri Oct 23
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Just had a look at wiki - apparently the hearing to decide their fate was scheduled for nine days before the play offs began but was delayed under legal advice.

Dan M 1:43 Fri Oct 23
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Troy McClure 12:18 Wed Oct 21

Mick Macari did indeed play for our youngsters. I remember him scoring ten in a cup match where they beat some qualifying team by a full twenty or so.

Lou Macari could have been a great manager for us. Or at least a good one. Not taking any shit from Ince, great signings in positions where they were needed, the incredible idea that players should be fitter etc. Saw some great games in that period where he found his feet (Sunderland 5-0 and Wimbledon in the League Cup spring to mind) but also some awful stuff when he was still trying to get his ways accepted (1-2 at home to Hull).

In the end he fell on his sword as he didn't want to drag West Ham's name through the mud while he tried to clear his own. I've read that he regrets leaving when he did.

Swindon's general fuckery should have worked in our favour that season. They went up through the play-offs but were demoted before ever playing a game in the 1st Division. Had the ruling been made before the play-offs then the seventh-placed team would have taken their place in. And that would have been *checks notes* West Ham United.

normannomates 5:42 Fri Oct 23
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Dicks was a prick

blueeyed.handsomeman 5:32 Fri Oct 23
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
MAN C AND WEST HAM WERE INVOLVED

eusebiovic 6:21 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Ludo, Bishop, Morley, J Quinn

Some good signings by Macari...but I think he signed Colin Foster too who was good on occasion but overall very flakey indeed

Sven Roeder 3:05 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Macari also appeared in Marvellous with Toby Jones playing Neil Baldwin who he appointed as kit man at Stoke
Nice watch & Macari comes across well

Sven Roeder 2:58 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
I’d forgotten all the other stuff and as said I imagine a lot of clubs were up to the same thing on contracts , bonuses etc

Remembered that he was charged with betting on another team in a cup tie but that was really insurance.
The idea was if they went through they got the takings from the next round , if they lost they pocketed the bet winnings

Tanglefoot 2:55 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
He is now doing some amazing work to help the homeless.

One manager for us but as over have mentioned he signed some brilliant players for us which built the base for when Billy took over.

The Stoat 2:52 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
He wasn’t to know I guess but he personally sorted tickets for me for that dreaded night in Oldham ☹️

Alex Bunbury 2:48 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
It seemed fairly clear that some of the players did not like him. Dicks was scathing about him in his book. I suspect that many of them were happy in a comfort zone under John Lyall and did not take kindly to the change.

hammer205 2:39 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Didn’t he bet on Swindon to lose to Newcastle?

muskie 1:16 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Southbank 11:55. I agree with you that Macari made some good signings, he never had a chance, he wanted to get the team properly fit and worked them hard on the training pitch. Fat lazy cunts like Gale and Ward didn't llke it and downed tools

PwoperNaughtyButNot 1:15 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Swindon were one of the first very little clubs to knock on the door of the new premierleague weren’t they?

I’d say some big clubs and the PL themselves weren’t to happy about a tin pot club trying to get some of the pie.

Westside 1:06 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Southbank, HMRC linked?

Troy McClure 12:18 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Ive lived here in Swindon for 40 years now - and remember all this very well.

My STFC mates were GUTTED after shelling out on play off final tickets etc and winning promotion (under Ardiles) to the 1st division for their first time... only to be dumped initially 2 divisions (back up 1 after appeal)

Hillier is dead now. He was hated in the town after it all happened.

Lou actually quit the day Swindon played West Ham - Think it was a 2-2 game with Ludo making his debut and Jimmy Quinn scoring twice against his former team.

Also, sadly, Lou had a Son who hanged himself. Think he was on West Ham's books - or maybe Stokes. Dont think Lou was ever the same after.

southbankbornnbred 12:08 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
So, for the record, there is another financial scandal brewing in football! It is being openly talked about by a small group of folk who know the details.

It is NOT West Ham, let me make that clear.

It will be a while before any details emerge, though, as it is likely to get very legal.

southbankbornnbred 12:05 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Rios - the chairman was Brian Hillier. He was found guilty and sentenced to a year in jail.

And you're absolutely spot on - other football folk did not like him and were suspicioius that there was something odd going on there.

That's exactly what made me dust off the files and look at it again - somebody (football sector) reminded me about how others in the game were wary of what Swindon were doing.

Mr Kenzo 12:02 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
southbankbornnbred 11:55 Wed Oct 21

Jimmy Quinn was another steal

riosleftsock 12:01 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
southbank

I'm trying but can't remember who the owner of Swindon was at the time, but I had the feeling that the other clubs didn't like him and stitched them up. Bit like us with Tevez.

southbankbornnbred 11:55 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Macari made some fine signings for us: Ludek, Ian Bishop, Trevor Morley, Martin Allen etc. He wasn't around for long, and the performances on the pitch were not great while he was manager, but he built the foundations of the side that got us promoted back to the top flight under Billy.

southbankbornnbred 11:44 Wed Oct 21
Re: Ex-Hammers manager Macari and the Swindon Town tax scandal...
Kenzo - yes, he went to Stoke and Celtic after the court case. He managed some big clubs.

Rios - good question. I guess the Revenue felt that Swindon's scam was on a scale other clubs did not copy. It went on for many years and involved most players who joined them. Probably why they took action against Swindon and not others.

Macari's argument that he negotiated contracts but was not aware that Swindon was not paying the tax obligations was legally strong - hence the jury cleared him. That left the chairman and the accountant in the frame.

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