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Survey: Majority of players will go broke

A charity that helps former professional footballers in the UK and Ireland has found that a majority of top-division players go broke within five years of ending their careers.

Research by XPro showed that three in five players encountered major financial difficulties despite the average Premier League wage being £30,000-a-week.

XPro chief executive Geoff Scott, an ex-Leicester and Stoke player, told the Sun on Sunday: "Our database shows three in five players go bankrupt within five years, and that coincides with one in three getting divorced within 12 months [of the end of a playing career].

"Often they are advised by the wrong people and, before they know it, their assets have disappeared.

"Even if they manage careers in the media or on the after-dinner circuit, some aren't aware they need to put money away for the taxman. It might sound incredible to normal fans - but it can and does happen."

The charity is assisting former Aston Villa star Lee Hendrie, who has been declared bankrupt.

Mark Sands, of bankruptcy specialists RSM Tenon, told the paper many footballers encountered problems after "developing expensive tastes and making risky investments".

"When their playing career came to an end, they had no second income and their earnings dropped rapidly," he explained. "And as their earnings dropped, their expenditure did not."

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