Gary Barlow: Take That fans ‘aren’t interested’ in band’s tax affairs

Singer makes claim as Take That launch new album 'III'

Take That singer Gary Barlow has claimed the band’s fans aren’t interested in his tax affairs, despite members of the group and their manager putting £20 million into a tax-avoidance scheme.

Barlow has remained largely silent about the reports since it emerged in May that he, along with bandmates Mark Owen and Howard Donald and Take That manager Jonathan Wild, placed the money in a tax avoidance scheme called Icebreaker. Supposedly set up to help fund new talent in the music and film industry, a tribunal judge ruled in May that it was actually established as a tax avoidance system.

Barlow told The Sun: “It’s a problem, something we’ve got to get to the bottom of and sort. Our fans – they want to buy our records and watch our tours. They’re not interested.” He stated the band are forbidden from talking in more detail about their tax affairs, saying: “We can’t talk about it. To be honest, it’s a private thing.”

Singer Jason Orange left Take That last month (September 24). He was the only member not to invest in Icebreaker, having said in a 2009 interview with Q that he wanted Take That to join him in banking with Co-Op so that they could be “ethical”.

Barlow’s only previous comment about the tax reports was a statement on Twitter in September, in which he said: “We are working on settling things with all parties ASAP”. Prime Minister David Cameron rejected calls for Conservative-supporting Barlow to give back his OBE in the wake of the tax reports, saying that the singer’s tax affairs were not his concern. This was despite publicly castigating comedian Jimmy Carr for avoiding tax, for which Carr quickly apologised.

Take That were among a thousand wealthy investors in Icebreaker, with Arctic Monkeys also revealed to be investors. The band have yet to comment on those reports.

Take That release ‘III’, their first album as a three-piece, on December 1. Donald said that Orange would be invited to see them at the band’s next tour. “We’ll invite Jason,” Donald told The Sun. “But whether he comes or not is another thing.”