According to a report published in the Sydney Morning Herald on October 6, Tim Cahill may be dealing with an irksome tax problem, stemming from investments made when he was living and working in England.
The newspaper claims to have seen documents linking Cahill to a company called Phoenix Film Partners, which was set up in 2003 after the British government of the time decided to offer tax breaks for investment in the country's film industry.
There is nothing illegal about investing in Phoenix Film Partners, nor was it a particularly unusual type of financial decision for people of his income level in Britain at the time. David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, a plethora of celebrities and at least one politician (Geoffrey Cox) are also named as having taken advantage of the same government-created incentives to invest in British film-making.
Unfortunately, the present government of Great Britain has decided the incentives offered amount to "tax avoidance". In a country which increasingly regards itself as on the precipice of bankruptcy, tax avoidance has become tantamount to treason. This explains why the government has not just taken steps to close the loophole, but is also demanding investors pay back any money which the prior regulations diverted away from Her Majesty's Treasury.
No one is being threatened with any criminal charges, because nothing about these investments was against the law. But - in the nicest possible way, surely - the British government has requested payment within 90 days of the demands it is sending out to some 43,000 beneficiaries of investment vehicles now regarded as principally existing to avoid taxation.
In the particular case of Phoenix Film Partners, the Daily Mail reports that the minimum investment in the fund was GBP 100,000, and the average sum invested was GBP 5.2 million. It is reported investors would have expected to claim tax relief equivalent to "roughly half" the value of their investment.
Cahill may have got a particularly unpleasant bill in the mail recently.
Perhaps his recent behavior - a training ground temper tantrum; defensive comments to the media; an apparent mid-game sulk on the subs bench against Houston; a red card within three minutes of arriving on the field in the same match - may be explained, at least in part, by what is presumably an understandable frustration with whomever gives him financial advice.
And if the newspaper reports aren't true: no one enjoys reading lies about themselves.
Either way, there may be a little more to Cahill's current mood than simple dissatisfaction with Mike Petke's tactics, or the New York Red Bulls' attitude to international call-ups.