SIR Elton John has blasted reports his lavish expenditure is causing his businesses severe financial difficulties - despite the fact the 2004 accounts for his companies showed a fall in turnover of more than $9 million (GBP5 million).

Pop music accountant CLIFF DANE believes the ROCKET MAN will have to dramatically curb his outgoings, because last year's (04) figures for WILLIAM A BONG, the parent company of John's businesses, showed his overdraft rose from approximately $29 million (GBP15 million) to nearly $51 million (GBP27 million) within 12 months.

But the singer - whose aides tried to limit his spending to $380,000 (GBP200,000) in 2000 - insists that despite the accounts, his increasing borrowing and the sale of his management company TWENTY-FIRST ARTISTS last week (ends01APR05) for just $30 million (GBP16 million), he is waiting to get money back from his films, theatre shows, exhibitions and tours.

Dane says, "Elton is borrowing more than he is earning for the company at the moment and that is why it has the overdraft. He has taken a lot of money out of the company and if he stopped working he could be in trouble."

But the star's spokesman counters, "This does not affect his personal wealth. He has three films on the go, two theatre shows, a big photographic exhibition and he paid out for his tours so he is waiting to get a lot of the money back. Every company has borrowings, this is no different."

William A Bong's chief executive FRANK PRESLAND adds, "The company is emphatically not in any financial trouble. The problem with accounts is that they only speak about one particular day and don't take into account the money coming in.

"The overdraft is illusory and this is the way the business is run. I wish I had Elton John's financial problems."

08/04/2005 14:06