Footballers out of pocket after being conned by people in positions of absolute trust


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Thousands of sportsmen and women have put their trust in the wrong people – sometimes losing millions as a result. Persuaded to invest in risky, unregulated, and unsuitable investment schemes involving wine, movies, property, or other such ventures, promises of big returns failed to materialise with devastating consequences. And football fraud is all too common.

High profile footballers conned 

For example, former England and Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand was said to be among the victims of an investment fraud. This case, involving Kingsbridge Asset Management targeted high profile investors and convinced them to invest in alleged tax-avoidance UK film and property schemes. As well as Rio Ferdinand, other professional footballers including Andy Cole, Craig Short, Martin Keown and Danny Murphy are thought to have suffered losses ranging from £100,000 to several million pounds. In total losses totalling more than £25 million have been identified.

In another case, up to 100 footballers fell victim to a £30 million investment scam allegedly set up by a former Doncaster Rovers player. In this instance, Robbie Keane, Jimmy Bullard and Gabby Agbonlahor were among the purported victims. While the Ponzi scheme promised a huge 20% per month return, individual losses ranged from a few thousand pounds to more than a million.

Bad advice and scams can cost millions

Professional sportspeople put their body and soul into becoming the very best they can be. And, because getting to the top takes everything they have, they often rely on professional advisors to look after them in other areas.

Athletes – especially footballers – can become millionaires virtually overnight at a young age. And many have little or no understanding of financial management. As a result, they turn to agents, advisers, friends, and family to invest their earnings to ensure a stable financial future – and these people are granted a position of absolute trust.

But the blend of sudden wealth and young age makes footballers a prime target for scams and fraudsters. And all too often, unscrupulous advisers steer players towards unsuitable investments and get-rich-quick schemes – often because they get a hefty commission for doing so.

In February 2024, our firm changed its name from Keller Postman UK to KP Law.

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