English Championship

Glovers boss aiming high

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Wed, 12 Jun 2013 16:11:00

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has released a statement denying any wrongdoing after reports claiming the Spanish tax authorities are investigating allegations he and his father defrauded the state of ?3.4million.

Reports have emerged alleging the four-time reigning World Player of the Year and his father, Jorge Horacio, were suspected of filing fraudulent tax returns between 2007 and 2009.

The 25-year-old Argentina international, currently on international duty in South America, swiftly insisted he had done nothing wrong, though, in a statement on his official Facebook page.

It read: "We have just known through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities.

"We are surprised about the news, because we have never committed any infringement.

"We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advice of our tax consultants, who will take care of clarifying this situation."

Messi arrived at the Nou Camp as a 13-year-old in 2000, made his first-team debut three years later and has gone on to establish himself as one of football's best ever players.

He has won six Primera Division titles, three Champions League crowns and two FIFA Club World Cups with the Catalan giants, and in 2012 netted a record 86 goals for club and country.

The Glovers are already favourites with the bookies to make an immediate return to the third tier but the former Bristol City boss believes his squad should aim for more than just staying up.

"My target is always just to compete," he said. "I don't want to bring players here and tell them our target is to stay in the division because that is a little bit negative.

"The players I bring in our going to be competitors, players who want to improve themselves and we need to make sure our target is to compete at the highest point we can in the Championship and that is what I'll be telling the lads.

"I've got to be very confident, I don't want to sit here and have any negative thoughts at this moment in time."

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