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Premiership footballers splash out £1bn on high risk investments


Twelve Premiership and ex-Premiership footballers face financial ruin after they ran up £14m in losses from unregulated collective investment schemes (ucis) such as film schemes. Last year, the Financial Services Authority (as it then was) proposed a ban on selling such schemes to retail investors after it discovered that hundreds of them had lost money.

Evidently none of the footballers had heard of the adage 'don't put all your eggs into one basket'. They could have spread their money around safely and cheaply through a funds supermarket such as Hargreaves Lansdown. If you do want to put all your eggs in one basket, at least ensure that it is regulated by what is now the Financial Conduct Authority.

Research for claims management company Rebus Investment Solutions found that over the past 15 years more than 200 players invested more than £1bn in ucis schemes. The largest single investment was £12m.

Martin Taylor, head of client relations for Rebus, said, 'We are currently dealing with a number of premiership and ex-premiership footballers who are now facing financial ruin as a result of complex investment schemes which they were mis-sold and we think this is just the tip of the iceberg.'

Rebus said, 'We are seeing an increasing number of such schemes being shut down by HMRC if they are deemed to be aggressive tax avoidance schemes. Which makes them hardly an appropriate mechanism for footballers looking to protect their longer-term financial future.'

Rebus claimed that in some cases, investors found themselves having to pay back up to five times the amount they had invested in these schemes in the form of penalties following a HMRC investigation.