Footballer Slapped With Bankruptcy Order Over Gambling Debts

A former Premier League footballer who ran up huge gambling debts while struggling to pay his bills has been hit with extended bankruptcy restrictions.

Danny Guthrie, 35, who started his career at Liverpool before going on to play for Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Reading in the Premier League, admitted breaking insolvency rules after borrowing £75,000 from a friend.

The loan was made in May 2019 to help Guthrie through some financial difficulties on the understanding that he was in the process of selling a property to raise capital. A promise was made to repay the loan after the sale went through.

However, Guthrie, who has most recently been playing and coaching in Iceland, then went on to rack up £120,000 in gambling debts. When he sold his property for just over £160,000 in August 2020, he decided to use that money to pay off his gambling debts, leaving him unable to pay back the loan.

Following a complaint, the Insolvency Service stepped in to investigate Guthrie’s behaviour on the grounds that he knew he was insolvent and knowingly dissipated his assets. He admitted the charges and was handed a six-year Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking (BRU).

Breaking the rules

Bankruptcy Restriction Undertakings and Orders (BROs) are imposed when individuals are found either to be at fault in bankruptcy proceedings, to have broken insolvency rules or to have misled the Official Receiver handling their case. The main difference is that BRUs are imposed when an individual admits charges, whereas BROs are handed down via a court ruling.

BRUs and BROs extend the financial restrictions imposed when an individual is declared bankrupt, which are usually discharged after 12 months. 

Guthrie broke insolvency rules by deliberately spending money he needed to pay existing creditors on other debts. Other reasons for being handed a BRU or BRO include giving away or selling assets for less than their known value, borrowing money that you know you can’t repay, behaving fraudulently and not cooperating with the Official Receiver handling your bankruptcy.

Guthrie’s bankruptcy restrictions have been extended to 2028. In that period, he won’t be able to borrow more than £500 without declaring his bankruptcy, he can’t set up or act as director of a company without permission from the courts, and can’t take on various posts in education, healthcare or public administration.

Image by Kelvin Stuttard from Pixabay

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