Road Racing

John McGuinness calls out Norton CEO Garner: “Anybody seen him?”

TT legend John McGuinness calls out Norton CEO Stuart Garner on social media as pressure mounts on the British marque following unpaid tax reports

Road racing legend has taken to social media to call out the CEO of Norton Motorcycles Stuart Garner amid growing uncertainty about the British marque’s future.

A 23-time race winner on the Isle of Man TT, McGuinness ended his long association with Honda in 2018 in favour of a move to Norton for the Superbike races, although injury forced him to postpone that debut until 2019.

However, though McGuinness’ contract with Norton also included the 2020 Isle of Man TT, the Morecombe racer revealed before Christmas his future looked uncertain as he hadn’t discussed whether he’d be continuing this year.

Speculation came to an end last week when McGuinness revealed he had signed for Quattro Plant Kawasaki for 2020. Nonetheless, based on this tweet it seems there are still some issues with Norton – and in particular its CEO Stuart Garner - to resolve…

It comes after news broke last week that Norton is facing a winding up order over unpaid tax debts totalling £300,000. According to a report on Leicestershire Live, Norton’s CEO claims the outstanding amount is mostly covered by ‘outstanding research and development tax relief which was owed to the business.’

Norton’s financial director told the judge the company had £135,000 in research and development tax credits due, which were with HMRC for approval.

They also report that the court heard that Norton originally owed HM Revenue and Customs around £600,000, although half of that amount has now been paid.

With McGuinness understood to be chasing unpaid salary, it also raises questions about Peter Hickman’s involvement. He recently confirmed he will go for victory in the Lightweight TT with the marque, albeit with a Norton prepared and run by the Smiths Racing team that enters him in the Superbike (BMW) and Supersport (Yamaha) categories.

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