Former Premier League footballer Marcus Bent has won a four-year court battle against bankruptcy trustees who attempted to seize his London property. The trustees claimed that the house, which Bent bought for his 19-year-old daughter in 2006, belonged to him and should be used to pay off his debts. However, Bent argued that the property was held in trust for his daughter until she turned 18. The judge ruled in Bent’s favour, stating that the house “fell outside the bankruptcy estate” and that trustees had “no interest” in it.
Bent, who played for top-flight sides Everton, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Wolves, went bankrupt in January 2019 following bankruptcy proceedings brought by tax officials. His estimated debt was reported to be “a couple of million”. Despite earning an estimated £10m during his playing days, Bent struggled with his finances after retiring and turned to drugs and alcohol. He also found himself with a criminal record after a police raid which saw him Tasered.
The former England Under-21 international earned up to £20,000 a week during his football career but endured a miserable fall from grace after retiring. He later told of being forced to claim Universal Credit benefits. Bent’s lawyer, Scott Ewing, described football as a “comfort blanket” for Bent, who struggled to cope after retiring and “went from having a high-profile, successful career to nothing”. Ewing also described how sycophants and leeches provided unregulated investment advice to Bent, leading to his financial woes.
Bent’s case highlights the importance of seeking professional financial advice and making sound investments. Many professional athletes earn large sums of money during their careers but struggle with their finances after retiring. According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 78% of NFL players are bankrupt or facing financial hardship within two years of retirement. The same article found that 60% of NBA players are broke within five years of leaving the league.
It is crucial for athletes to plan for their financial future and seek professional advice. They should also be wary of unregulated investment advice and sycophants who may take advantage of their wealth. Bent’s case serves as a cautionary tale for all professional athletes and highlights the importance of sound financial planning.
In conclusion, Marcus Bent’s court victory over bankruptcy trustees highlights the importance of seeking professional financial advice and making sound investments. Bent’s struggles with his finances after retiring from football serve as a cautionary tale for all professional athletes. They should plan for their financial future and be wary of unregulated investment advice and sycophants who may take advantage of their wealth.