‘We won the Ashes, but got nailed with 60pc tax’

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

Seven years ago, Tim Bres­nan took the fi­nal wicket to wrap up the fourth Ashes Test match in Mel­bourne to en­sure Eng­land re­tained the most fa­mous tro­phy in cricket. The se­ries win was the great­est achieve­ment by an Eng­land cricket team since the Seven­ties, and marked the start of a golden pe­riod for all­rounder Bres­nan, who went on to win back-to-back do­mes­tic ti­tles with his home county, York­shire.

Still only 32, his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer – and the money that came with it – has pe­tered out.

He missed out, too, on the riches of the star-stud­ded In­dian Pre­mier League, which pays foot­ball-style salaries to crick­eters. With luck, he’ll play for York­shire for another three or four sea­sons – then he has to work out what to do with the rest

Eng­land crick­eter Tim Bres­nan was bowled over when he earned his first £430 match fees, but his earn­ings were not as high as fans may ex­pect, he tells Sam Brod­beck

of his life. A higher-rate tax­payer, he claims to save half his in­come. This is im­pres­sive, and far more than the 5pc av­er­age that other work­ers of a sim­i­lar age man­age to save, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey from Royal Lon­don, the pen­sion com­pany. This is the first win­ter I’m spend­ing at home for about 10 years. Pre­vi­ously, I’ve toured with Eng­land, Eng­land Lions, and I’ve played in the Big Bash League in Aus­tralia. We’ve just had our third child so it’s prob­a­bly a good year to spend some time at home. My par­ents al­ways said not to bor­row, only spend what you can af­ford. We weren’t par­tic­u­larly wealthy grow­ing up.

My mum works for the fam­ily busi­ness, a haulage firm. My dad was an engi­neer in fac­to­ries in York­shire. We could af­ford cricket gear and a few hol­i­days but it wasn’t al­ways plain sail­ing.

I made my de­but for the York­shire first team at 16. I was still do­ing my GCSEs and the school let me off to play. When I started, we were on six-month con­tracts and had to have win­ter jobs. I worked in a goods yard in the freez­ing cold one year.

My mum forced me into col­lege but I knew I’d never see it through. I got picked for the Eng­land un­der-19s team that played in the World Cup when I was 17 years old, so I dropped out of col­lege and never went back.

When I was 16, the match fee was £430 a game – that was mas­sive. Then they said I was bankrupt­ing the club and gave me a cap, which meant they could pay me less. My first con­tract was £8,000 a year, and then I got up­graded to “ju­nior pro” and that was £12,000 plus match fees.

A mas­sive saver and a lit­tle bit of an in­vestor as well. I un­der­stand that cricket has a lim­ited time for you to earn – if I make it to 35 or 36 I’ve done well. My earn­ings are mas­sively front­loaded so I need to save now while I can. At the mo­ment, I prob­a­bly save about half of my salary.

Yes, I save into a pen­sion, Isas and EIS (En­ter­prise In­vest­ment Schemes) – we found that was tax ef­fi­cient. The aim is to get to the max­i­mum £1m pen­sion pot but I doubt I’ll get there un­til a cou­ple of days be­fore I can draw it out! I’m not even half­way there at the mo­ment.

‘My earn­ings are front-loaded. At the mo­ment I prob­a­bly save half my salary’

Yes, the Pro­fes­sional Crick­eters’ As­so­ci­a­tion [the play­ers’ union] is keen on crick­eters be­ing ad­vised fi­nan­cially. I met a guy at St James’s Place, the wealth man­ager, at a din­ner and I use them now. To throw some money into an EIS. One of them, run by Seneca, did re­ally well and we man­aged to pay off a chunk of the mort­gage with the re­turns. Buy­ing a brand new VW Polo as my first car. My mum said it needed to be new, with guar­an­tees and war­ranties, be­cause I’d be driv­ing all over the coun­try play­ing cricket.

As soon as I drove off the fore­court its value dropped like a stone. When the three-year PCP [a fi­nanc­ing deal] came to an end they didn’t want it back and I couldn’t sell it. I learnt a les­son, and now I just lease them.

We don’t have many. We’ve had a few nice hol­i­days and we got mar­ried in the Mal­dives – I squeezed it in af­ter a tour of Sri Lanka.

Tim Bres­nan said play­ing for Eng­land was the most lu­cra­tive part of his ca­reer, but his first con­tract was just £8,000 a year

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