Ecclestone Becomes England’s Second Largest Taxpayer Following Fraud Case

Liberty Media remains the world’s most valuable sports empire according to The Sunday Times, while former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone became the UK’s second-biggest taxpayer in 2023 after settling a large fraud case by paying over £652 million.


‣ Liberty Media is recognized as the world’s most valuable sports empire, maintaining its top position according to The Sunday Times, despite a decline in value due to the split-off of the MLB team, the Atlanta Braves.

‣ Bernie Ecclestone, the former F1 boss, settled a large fraud case related to a trust fund in Singapore, resulting in him paying over £652 million to the UK exchequer, making him the second biggest taxpayer in the UK in 2023.

‣ The payment by Ecclestone was highlighted as a significant contribution to the public finances, with Robert Watts noting it as a “one-off victory” that prevented total tax revenue from being lower than the previous year.

‣ Despite the challenges, Liberty Media’s sports properties are valued at $18.22 billion, underscoring the company’s leading position in the global sports industry.

Liberty Media, ever heard of them? They’re sitting pretty at the top of the world’s most valuable sports empires. That’s right, The Sunday Times spilled the beans. And guess what? They’re clinging to that number one spot like it’s a golden trophy.

Oh, and here’s a juicy bit. Remember Bernie Ecclestone? The former F1 bigwig? Well, he’s been climbing the charts too. But not in racing, no. In paying taxes. In the UK, no less. He’s now the runner-up in the “Who’s Who” of the UK’s biggest taxpayers for 2023. Why? He settled a fraud case. Talk about a plot twist.

### Ecclestone paid back more than half a billion in taxes
So, Bernie almost snagged the top taxpayer spot in 2023. Missed it by *that* much. He was dealing with this massive fraud case, right? Something about a trust fund in Singapore. Picture this: nearly €470 million just sitting there in 2015. And no tax paid on it. Oops.

But then, Bernie did something unexpected. He coughed up over £652 million to the UK’s coffers. Just like that, he’s second only to Alex Gerko. You know, the Russian-born financial whiz? Gerko paid almost £664 million. Close race, huh?

Robert Watts, the guy who puts this list together, was all praises. He said Bernie’s payment was a “one-off victory for the public finances.” Imagine that. Without Bernie’s contribution, the UK’s tax revenue would’ve taken a hit this year.

### Liberty Media tops list
Now, back to Liberty Media. Despite a bit of a stumble – yeah, they had to split off the MLB team, the Atlanta Braves – they’re still the big dogs. Their sports empire is valued at a cool $18.22 billion. Even with the Braves going their own way, Liberty Media isn’t losing its crown anytime soon.

So, there you have it. A tale of empires, big money, and even bigger tax bills. In the world of sports and finance, it’s never just another day at the office.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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