Premier League - £1.5m-a-year stars 'risk bankruptcy'

Thu, 15 Mar 11:31:00 2012

More and more footballers are going bankrupt despite Premier League wages now averaging £1.47 million a year, experts have claimed.

Aston Villa's Lee Hendrie has to be escorted off the field by Roy Aitken. - 0

Mark Sands, head of bankruptcy at accountancy firm RSM Tenon, said the lavish lifestyles of the players coupled with poor investment choices has led to increased vulnerability.

"In 2010 the average salary of a player in the Premier League was £1.47 million, 56 times the average UK wage," Sands told the Birmingham Mail.

"But as their wages have increased so have the number who become insolvent.

"We have certainly had an increase at RSM Tenon in the past three years. The main reasons for this can be unsustainable consumption, falling incomes after leaving the top flight, poor investment and lack of financial awareness."

Last month former England international Lee Hendrie was forced to declare himself bankrupt after racking up debts of more than £200,000 with the taxman, despite earning £24,000 a week at the peak of his career.

RSM Tenon stated: "The debts have apparently been a result of a tax scheme Hendrie was advised to enter into which was rejected by HM Revenue & Customs, leaving an unpaid tax bill which led to the petition.

“Investments made during his peak years, in properties and film-related partnerships, went bad, leaving no money for Hendrie to turn to when times were tough.”

Last year, current Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel was also declared bankrupt after his non-profit US football academy ran up debts of close to £5m.

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