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Jordan Henderson has yet to earn any money from his six months in Saudi Arabia because he deferred his wages of around £350,000 per week and may have to forfeit everything he’s owed now that he’s leaving for Ajax, sources told The Telegraph’s Sam Wallace and Matt Law.
Henderson is reportedly terminating his contract with Al-Ettifaq to join the Dutch side on a permanent transfer. In doing so, the former Liverpool captain, who only signed for the Saudi outfit in July, is ending a controversial spell in the Gulf nation that has left his reputation in tatters.
The LGBTQ+ community has roundly criticized Henderson for betraying his values as a gay and trans rights advocate to play in a country where homosexuality is punishable by death. Now, Henderson may have lost the payday many believe was why he moved there.
Sources told Wallace and Law that Henderson agreed to defer payment of his salary in part so he could spend time in the U.K. without breaking tax law. An individual must pay tax on earnings as a full-time resident if they’re in the U.K. for 90 days.
If Henderson earned his salary as normal, he’d have to break U.K. residency to claim tax-free status or face a tax bill of more than £3 million in the U.K., Elliott Buss, a partner at UHY Hacker Young, told The Telegraph’s Mike McGrath.
It’s unclear if Henderson will look to recoup the money he deferred and whether that would come with a tax bill.
Al-Ettifaq executives reportedly understand the reasons behind Henderson’s early exit and hold no grudge against him.
Al-Ettifaq have performed poorly in Henderson’s only season there, sitting a distant eighth behind Public Investment Fund-backed Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, and Al-Ahli.
Henderson made just 17 Saudi Pro League appearances for Al-Ettifaq, recording four assists.