Premier League Divorce Reveals Footballer’s Spending Habits
Professional footballers are notoriously well paid and the profligacy with money of some of them is also the stuff of legend. In one big money divorce case, an ex-couple’s spending habits were such that no capital was left over for division between them despite the husband’s stellar earnings as a Premier League star.
The couple had been married for 19 months and had a child together. He had earned about £2 million a year when playing for an English club and had continued to earn in the region of £1 million a year following a move abroad. During the marriage, the couple had rented a home at a cost of £52,000 a year and spent very large sums on designer goods, expensive jewellery, and luxurious living in general.
Following their divorce, the wife sought sufficient capital to buy a £1.8 million home and maintenance for herself and the child of £318,000 a year. The husband argued that her claim was characterised by a desire to spend, spend, spend and that she clearly considered that, in marrying a footballer, she had hit the jackpot.
In ruling on the case, the High Court found that the wife currently had little or no earning capacity. Her substantial and ongoing contributions to the welfare of the family entitled her to financial security. However, the Court did not accept that the sums that she contended for reflected her ‘needs’. The divorce meant that some economies in the level of her discretionary spending were inevitable.
Striking a balance between them, and achieving a clean break, the Court directed the husband to pay £200,000 a year in maintenance. He was also required to make a contribution towards the wife’s legal costs and to pay her a lump sum of about £270,000, generated by the sale of a property. With reasonable thrift, the award would enable the wife to live securely and to purchase a home of her own.