Manchester United legend Wes Brown declares bankruptcy despite £50k-a-week wage

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Brown had a glittering career playing for one of the greatest teams in the world but ended up unable to pay off his debts.

Footballers are often seen as wealthy individuals who enjoy a luxurious lifestyle, but excessive spending or lack of financial planning can eventually lead to bankruptcy. Several famous footballers have declared bankruptcy in recent years, despite earning huge salaries during their careers. This week it emerged former Manchester United star Wes Brown, 43, was declared bankrupt.

Why was Brown declared bankrupt?

According to GOAL, the former Manchester United defender, has reportedly been declared bankrupt at the High Court despite earning a reported £2.6m-a-year salary during his heyday with the club. According to reports, Brown earned £50,000-a-week while playing for the Premier League giants, but has still found himself in financial difficulties.

Manchester United legend Wes Brown declares bankruptcy despite £50k-a-week wage John Peters

The bankruptcy order against Brown was made after HM Revenue and Customs filed a petition against the former player in February 2023. The order was then confirmed by the High Court on April 12th, 2023.

Wes Brown's football career

Wes Brown is a former Manchester United defender who played for the club between 1998 and 2011. Brown was born in Longsight, Manchester, and joined the Red Devils as a schoolboy. He made his first-team debut in 1998 and went on to make over 200 appearances for the club, winning five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, and two Champions League trophies.

According to the Mirror, Brown was the youngest member of United's squad when they beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in Barcelona to win the Champions League in their treble-winning 1999 season.

Manchester United legend Wes Brown declares bankruptcy despite £50k-a-week wage John Peters

At international level, Brown also earned 23 caps for the England national team and played for Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers, and Kerala Blasters after leaving United. In 2018, Brown decided to hang up his boot.

What led to Brown's bankruptcy?

It is not entirely clear what led to Wes Brown's financial difficulties, but it is known that HM Revenue and Customs filed a bankruptcy petition against him in February 2023.

It is unclear what Wes Brown's plans are for the future, but he is due to play in a charity football match next month in aid of charities formed in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack. The match will see a team of celebrities take on a team of football legends, and Brown is expected to play for the legends' team.

Manchester United legend Wes Brown declares bankruptcy despite £50k-a-week wage Visionhaus

It is possible that Brown will also explore opportunities in coaching or punditry in the future. Many former footballers go on to have successful careers in these areas, such as Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Pep Guardiola, and Michael Carrick.

Famous footballers who faced bankruptcy

Wes Brown is not the first high-earning sports star to be declared bankrupt. Over the years, many athletes have found themselves in financial difficulties despite earning vast sums of money during their careers.

Paul Merson, a former Arsenal and England midfielder, is one such example. In 2008, he was declared bankrupt with debts of roughly £500,000. According to the Sun, Merson struggled with gambling and alcohol addiction throughout his career and continued to struggle with his finances after retiring from football.

Manchester United legend Wes Brown declares bankruptcy despite £50k-a-week wage Bongarts

Paul Gascoigne, also known as Gazza, is another famous footballer who has faced financial struggles in recent years. The former England midfielder, who played for clubs including Tottenham Hotspur, Lazio, and Rangers, has struggled with alcohol and mental health issues throughout his life, which have contributed to his financial difficulties. In 2016, Gascoigne was declared bankrupt for the second time in just over five years, with debts of around £50,000, reports the Athletic.

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© John Peters

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