One of the problems with bankruptcy if you are a famous person is that the bankruptcy process is a public one. Every bankruptcy name is out in the open and the bankruptcy of a prominent public figure attracts far more attention and gossip than the bankruptcy of “Joe Bloggs”.
Boris Becker was declared bankrupt last year, with debts of £54million.
The bankruptcy comes after many years of the multiple Grand Slam winner struggling with his financial affairs, with a string of failed business ventures. It appears Becker was just as bad managing his finances and money as he was good with a tennis racket!
It seems a personal insult and tragedy that he has to now auction all of his trophies and medals from his illustrious playing career to enable these funds to be paid into his bankruptcy estate. This will no doubt be particularly painful for Becker having split from his wife last month.
It is estimated Becker earnt approximately £100million during his career and he now has nothing.
The case strikes me as having many similarities to many prominent footballers that have also been declared bankrupt over the years. I act as the debt and insolvency advisor to the Professional Football Association (PFA) and deal on a day to day basis with insolvent footballers, many of whom have earned millions throughout their career.
Similar traits or themes occur with footballers as has happened with Becker. There are usually failed business ventures and ill conceived financial investments, usually following poor advice. There are lifestyle ‘issues’ that frequently occur with the former sportsman wishing to attain a lifestyle that their earnings cannot sustain. There are also the more prosaic causes for insolvency and bankruptcy such as divorce and injury.
Of course there is hope for Becker and the bankruptcy will get rid of all his debts and allow him to make a fresh start. He has an income as a co commentator for various media outlets and going forward he will hopefully be able to make a decent living from this.
As a further aside, Boris Becker has now claimed immunity from legal (bankruptcy) proceedings in the UK as he has claimed he is a diplomat for the Central African Republic – who said personal insolvency is boring!
For advice on debt and personal insolvency matters, get in touch with Farleys Solicitors on 0845 287 0939.