BLACKBURN Rovers first-team coach Craig Short has claimed he lost a ‘substantial amount of money’ after investing in film schemes and property ventures recommended by two financial advisers who worked closely with soccer stars nationwide.

The centre-back said a number of Ewood Park players had invested with Kingsbridge Asset Management during his time as a player at the club between 1999 and 2005.


An investigation by The Sunday Times named former Rovers players Mr Short, Robbie Savage, Andrew Cole, who also played for Burnley, and Danny Murphy among a host of soccer stars who lost money in the schemes.

It said more than 100 players received financial advice from David McKee and Kevin McMenamin when they ran Nottingham-based Kingsbridge, which no longer trades.

A statement issued on their behalf to the Lancashire Telegraph blamed the problem on a change of tax rules and said many footballing clients had profited from the schemes they recommended.

Mr Savage, now a BBC television pundit, said when contacted by the paper: “I am not talking about that.”

Mr Short denied he had lost the £2.6 million quoted in The Sunday Times but conceded the sum involved was a substantial amount.

The 47-year-old said when asked about Rovers players’ involvement: “It is a massive issue that is covering a whole generation of footballers.

“The entire dressing room was infiltrated by these so-called advisers during my time as a player at the club.

“It is hard to estimate the total impact on my finances because of projected losses but it is a significant amount of money.”

The scheme in which the sportsmen lost money is understood to relate to property investments in Spain and Florida and investments in film schemes with associated tax breaks which have since been challenged by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

The statement on behalf of Mr McKee and Mr McMenamim said this challenge had been retrospective and all their clients had been warned about associated risks, advised to keep a balanced investment portfolio and informed about commission arrangements.

Mr Short confirmed he had told The Sunday Times: “These investments were sold for my kids’ education, for my children’s future.

“I reckon more than 100 retired players have been hit by this.

“They feel aggrieved. Anger, humiliation really. It is wrong, totally wrong.”

The spokesman for Mr McKee and Mr McMenamin said: “They continue to have many happy clients, including from the football industry, who benefit from their advice and there are countless examples of clients who have, and continue to, prosper financially from David and Kevin’s expertise. However, given the nature of investing, regrettably there will always be some situations where clients lose money.

“In relation to film investment schemes, independent financial advisers across the industry almost unanimously believed in the benefits of such schemes, particularly as a tax planning tool, hence their popularity for many years.

“At the time, there was no reason for any adviser, including David or Kevin, to doubt the integrity of these schemes.

“While many such investments passed without any regulatory concern, the fact that HMRC retrospectively and controversially ruled against some of these schemes clearly had a significant and unexpected impact across the whole industry.

“Footballers and other investors alike have felt a major impact from this regrettable ruling, including clients of Kevin and David.

“It should be noted that out of thousands of clients, only a very small proportion were introduced to these types of film schemes and clients were fully advised of the risks both directly and via clear suitability letters and were also advised that such investments needed to be part of a balanced portfolio.

“Without exception, clients were always made aware of the products in which they were invested.

“In all cases, as with any investments including property deals, clients were also clearly advised in relation to commission arrangements.”