Former Liverpool and Manchester City forward, Craig Bellamy, who earned around £85,000 per week in 2010, has been declared bankrupt. Bellamy revealed in an exclusive interview that he lost everything by trusting the wrong people.
Bellamy, 42, who retired from professional football in 2014 and is now an assistant coach to Vincent Kompany at Burnley, stated that he doesn’t bet or drink, but gambled on people and lost it all. He warned young players to be careful with their finances and be wary of who they trust.
Bellamy, who made over 400 appearances for various clubs during his career, revealed that he has no property or car and is currently renting a flat that is provided by Burnley. He said that he’s learned a lot from his experiences and is now focused on helping young players avoid the same mistakes.
The former Wales international said, “I have been living the last five or six years on Death Row,’ says Bellamy, ‘just waiting for someone to put me out. I have been waiting for the cell door to open and someone to say: “Today’s the day”. It’s like the feeling of not being able to look forward to anything. All the money I’ve earned, I can’t get a mortgage. Financially, I have no future. The hurt of that. I can’t own anything. Everything’s gone.”
“My life has been on hold. I’m not a tax dodger but I have been very naive and the HMRC have been pursuing me for unpaid tax for some time. Everything I have had has been taken from me. If you get the wrong people advising you, it all haemorrhages, it all dwindles. It has got to the point where bankruptcy is a relief. It means I can just live again.”
“I know some people will probably think I have squandered all my money on drinking or gambling or drugs. I haven’t. I can go quiet where you won’t hear from me but I won’t be down the pub. I have never touched drugs since I was a young kid. I don’t gamble. I have never gambled. It doesn’t make any sense to me. But I have gambled on people unfortunately.”
Bellamy’s situation is a reminder of how quickly things can change in football, and how important it is for players to manage their finances wisely. Many professional athletes often face financial difficulties after retirement, and Bellamy’s experience is a cautionary tale for all young players.
Despite his financial struggles, Bellamy is still involved in football and is now focused on helping others. He added, “I’ve learned a lot from my experiences, and I want to help young players understand the importance of managing their finances. It’s not just about earning money, it’s about making it work for you in the long run.”