Boris Becker Cleared by Bankruptcy Court, Ascends from Financial Ruins


In a turn of events that brought relief to German tennis icon Boris Becker, London’s bankruptcy court came to a resolution in his case last Wednesday. Rising above his financial straits, the court deemed that Becker had met his obligation to the best of his abilities and discharged him, despite failing to repay the tens of millions of pounds owed to his creditors.

Despite falling significantly short of the nearly £50 million ($62.5 million) debt, Chief Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Nicholas Briggs found merit in Becker’s sincere attempts to alleviate his financial burden. There would be a sense of absurdity, mused Judge Briggs, if Becker’s case was not resolved, considering his obvious efforts.

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Highlighting Becker’s commendable efforts, Briggs delineated that the Tennis great evidently fell into the cooperative category of bankrupts, rather than those who hinder proceedings. Becker, quite clearly, finds himself placed appropriately on the correct side of this spectrum, having provided information and diligently handing over his assets.

The tale adopted a somber tone when Becker, aged 56, found himself deported to his native Germany following an 8 month stint in a London prison. He was found guilty of transferring large sums of money illicitly, and hiding assets adding up to £2.5 million ($3.1 million). These illegal actions saw light after his bankruptcy declaration in 2017.

The court convicted Becker on four charges as per the Insolvency Act, namely removal of property, concealing debt, and twice failing to disclose his estate. Fortunately, he was absolved of 25 other charges, which included failing to surrender nine of his Grand Slam trophies and an Olympic gold medal to the appointed bankruptcy trustees.

Becker’s sentence added up to two and a half years behind bars. However, he was released under an early deportation program specially designed for foreign nationals.

Becker’s illustrious career unfolded when he became the first wildcard entry to clinch the Wimbledon singles title in 1985, flabbergasting the tennis world at the tender age of 17. His career skyrocketed him to become the world number one player, winning two titles each at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and one title at the U.S. Open.

After hanging his racket in 1999, the tennis legend ventured into coaching, color commentary, investing, and celebrity poker. It was his penchant for inertia and poor advice that Becker blamed for his spiralling financial situation, leading to his bankruptcy declaration after failing to settle a debt of nearly £50 million ($62.5 million). The lion’s share of this came from an unpaid loan of over £3 million ($3.75 million) on his property in Mallorca, Spain.

In an interesting development in the case, Katie Longstaff, the attorney, revealed in a High Court hearing last month that the trustees, whilst not opposing Becker’s motion to end the proceedings, did not extend their support, given Becker’s outstanding balance of close to £42 million ($52.5 million).

Becker’s legal counsel, Louis Doyle, elucidated that a settlement had been brokered between the two parties. As part of this agreement, Becker was to hand over a “substantial sum”. Doyle also confirmed the package included “outstanding trophies” and maintained that Becker had exhausted all means striving for this resolution.

It is important to note a minor error: Boris Becker is aged 56, not 57 as was previously reported.