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pounds 40K A WEEK BRAD IS BUST; Villa keeper's firm has pounds 5m in debts.

Byline: AMANDA KILLELEA

PREMIER League star Brad Friedel has been declared bankrupt with debts of almost pounds 5million.

The ruling was made on the Aston Villa goalkeeper, who earns more than pounds 40,000 each week, at Macclesfield county court yesterday.

This latest blow comes a month after repossession proceedings began on a pounds 260,000 house in Ohio belonging to the former America international.

Friedel, 39, who lives in a stunning Cheshire mansion with wife Tracy and daughters Izabella and Allegra, got into trouble when his US football academy ran up debts close to pounds 5million. And he may have more difficulties to come. His contract with Aston Villa is up in the summer and the club may let him go to help cut their pounds 70million wage bill.

Friedel is a hero in his native Ohio where he opened the 28-acre not-forprofit Premier Soccer Academy in Lorain County in 2007.

Explaining the project was meant to help youngsters succeed in Europe, he said: "It's set up as a non-profit business.

I don't make any money on it."

But lender RBS Citizens has taken action in the US and, according to court documents, last August Friedel and his company owed nearly pounds 5million.

The Lorain County Auditor's website also lists more than pounds 250,000 in unpaid property taxes relating to the academy.

Corporate sponsorship at the Academy fell away and they were unable to attract sufficient trainees willing to pay a yearly fee of more than pounds 20,000.

A spokesman for Brad Friedel said: "This is a technical bankruptcy and it is not anticipated that it will be in place for long as an application for an annulment will be submitted in the next few days. Arrangements are in place to deal with the issues which gave rise to the bankruptcy."
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 21, 2011
Words:304
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