John O'Shea among 100 footballers facing 'losses of £100m’ in investments - report
Rio Ferdinand, Martin Keown, Danny Murphy and Robbie Savage all understood to have lost millions after investing in film and property ventures
Some of the biggest names in British football face losses totalling an estimated £100 million, with some facing bankruptcy and ruin, as a result of investing in film schemes and property ventures, the Sunday Times has claimed.
Republic of Ireland international John O'Shea, Rio Ferdinand, the former England and Manchester United defender, Kevin Campbell, the former Arsenal, Everton and West Brom striker, Andy Cole, the former Manchester United forward and pundits Martin Keown, Danny Murphy and Robbie Savage are among more than 100 footballers to have invested via Kingsbridge Asset Management.
O’Shea, who is thought to earn about €40,000 a week at Sunderland, is believed to have invested $430,000 (€400,000) in a property development in Florida, with the apartments now valued at about $115,000 (€100,000).
That firm is headed up by David McKee and Kevin McMenamin, who are alleged to have earned £5 million in commission from investments, many of which tanked or resulted in the players’ receiving tax demands from HM Revenue & Customs, which challenged the film schemes’ legality.
Cole has invested in three film schemes, while Campbell faces losing £7 million after investing in five film schemes and is understood to be involved in bankruptcy proceedings.
“When I see the paperwork it’s horrendous,” Campbell said. “I’m not one to be bitter, but £7 million is a lot of money.”
Murphy, the former Liverpool and England midfielder now a pundit for the BBC, said he “felt angry” and what he considered mis-selling of the investment products, a sentiment repeated by Craig Short, the former Blackburn Rovers captain.
“These investments were for my children’s future,” Short said. “I reckon over 100 retired players have been hit by this. They feel duped, anger, humiliation, really. It’s wrong, totally wrong.”
Keown’s lawyers are understood to be taking action to protect his position.
Ferdinand has lost an estimated £2.3 million on property investments in Spain and Florida, and was the biggest investor in film schemes - but his advisers say he had limited personal exposure and is happy with his investments.
A spokesman for McKee and McMenamin issued a strong denial and said that “without exception” all the firm’s clients were always advised of the suitability and risks of the schemes and that they needed to be part of a balanced portfolio.