Contrasting Fortunes Of Two Sports Figures

Cribbin Could Teach Becker A Thing Or Two

BY Paul Collins 09:35 Tuesday 4 December 2018, 9:35 4 Dec 2018

Tom Cribbin

Talk about contrasting fortunes! One is a former Wimbledon champion facing bankruptcy another is a former GAA inter county senior football manager expanding into the UK in a seven figure business deal.

A substantial part of UK butchers chain Crawshaw has been sold to Irish entrepreneur - and former Westmeath senior men's manager - Tom Cribbin for £1.4m (€1.57m), securing 240 jobs.

Crawshaw fell into administration in October after it failed to secure emergency funding and the group said that its remaining 19 stores - and a Rotherham production and distribution facility - have been sold to a company called Loughanure, which is controlled by Mr Cribbin.

Through Cribbin Family Butchers, Mr Cribbin previously operated a chain of butchers stores here, and sold a company called Gabbotts Farm to Crawshaw in 2015.

The rescue comes after Crawshaw closed 35 stores and one distribution centre in November, resulting in the loss of 350 jobs.

The collapse of the company came after several years of financial losses.

According to its latest set of results for the six months to July 29, the group posted revenue of £21.6m and a pre-tax loss of £1.7m, however Cribbin obviously sees a future for the operation.

The financial future of a global tennis star is not as rosy.

Three-time Wimbledon winner Boris Becker had said his appointment as a Central African Republic (CAR) diplomat gave him protection from any legal claims in his fight against bankruptcy.

Declared bankrupt in 2017 over money owed to bank Arbuthnot Latham, he was being pressed for "further assets".

After a hearing in London, Mr Becker abandoned his case and his bankruptcy has been extended indefinitely.

It means a planned auction of his trophies and memorabilia will now go ahead. The items for sale, which are worth an estimated £200,000, include a certificate commemorating his men's doubles gold medal win with Michael Stich in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and a lot containing a sweater, wristbands and socks.

Becker became the first German to win Wimbledon when he did so at the age of 17 in 1985.

He won it again in 1986 and 1989 among the 64 ATP Tour titles he claimed during a 15-year career.

Another case of a former sports star finding it hard to make it in the real world.

After his retirement he became a pundit for the BBC but the wages haven't helped him sort out his financial affairs.

Maybe he should give Tom Cribbin a shout?

Off The Ball

Newsletter

The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week