During his bankruptcy proceedings in 2017, Boris Becker concealed more assets from the British tax authorities than most Germans will ever own. FOCUS Online lists how Becker earned his fortune – and what he then spent on it.
Boris Becker has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison: he has served around seven months of this and is now a free man again. The 54-year-old was convicted in London because, in his private insolvency proceedings, he concealed, among other things, a property in his hometown of Leimen and shares with a total value of more than one million euros. That represents only a fraction of what Becker once owned in terms of wealth. At his wedding, his possessions were estimated at around 100 million euros.
Since most Germans find it incomprehensible both to have so much wealth and to spend so much money again, we list how the former tennis star got his money and what he spent it on until he went bankrupt.
Boris Becker earned exactly $25,080,956 in prize money in his career as a tennis player from 1984 to 1999. At today’s exchange rate and without taking into account the loss of purchasing power caused by inflation, that’s around 23.8 million euros. He booked the highest single win by winning the Grand Slam Cup in Munich in 1996. The equivalent of 1.785 million euros was paid for the title. 1.1 million euros brought him victory at the ATP Tour World Championship in Frankfurt in 1995.
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Overall, Boris Becker is the 14th tennis player with the highest career earnings. He is denied a higher placement because the prize money during his active days in the 1980s and 1990s was significantly lower than it is today.
As a top player, Boris Becker was also in demand outside of official tournaments. His first Wimbledon triumph in 1985 brought him a kit deal with Puma worth the equivalent of around 10 million euros. Sales of tennis rackets exploded thanks to Becker’s notoriety. The contract ended in 1989. It can be assumed that Becker then signed similarly high contracts with other outfitters, which would amount to around 30 million euros by the end of his career. In addition, there was income for show matches and the German Davis Cup team of an estimated 15 million euros.
Becker has been a sought-after actor in commercials since his active days. In his bankruptcy proceedings, he estimated the income from it to be about the same as his prize money. Among Becker’s engagements are classics of advertising history such as the legendary “Am I in already?” for the internet provider AOL in 1999.
After his career he advertised for Mercedes, Coca-Cola, Philips, various poker sites, Saturn, Media Markt and most recently for Check24. The “Bild” estimates his income from this at a further 25 million euros. However, this information cannot be verified.
Becker took over the job of coaching top player Novak Djokovic in 2013. He coached the Serbs until 2017. His salary is said to have been around 800,000 euros per year.
After his active career, Boris Becker was a welcome guest in the media. He commented on tennis matches for the pay-TV broadcaster Premiere and DSF, as well as for the British BBC and from 2017 to the end for Eurosport. His contract there would theoretically run until 2023. For his tennis reporting, Becker received the German TV Award for the best sports program in 2018, among other things.
The FOCUS Online Guide answers all important questions about pensions on 135 pages. Plus 65 pages of forms.
In addition, he was also seen in many programs apart from his favorite sport. In 2004 he presented 15 programs of the talk show “Becker 1:1”, in 2006 he competed in the “Sofaduell” in sports quizzes against amateurs. He appeared in various quiz shows in Germany and Great Britain, in 2009 on ProSieben’s “Schlag den Star”.
How much Becker earned with the various performances can only be estimated. It is only known from his engagement at Eurosport that he received 100,000 euros per tournament. With three Grand Slam tournaments that he commented on per year, that adds up to 1.5 million euros.
In addition, Becker published two autobiographies that are said to have earned him around 500,000 euros.
Probably the most expensive decision in Becker’s life was the separation from his wife Barbara in 2001. It cost him a settlement of around 15 million euros. In addition, Becker paid maintenance for both their sons Noah (born in 1994) and Elias (1999) for years.
Anna Ermakova is the child long believed to have been conceived in a legendary broom closet. Although this urban legend has now been debunked, Becker’s one-night stand from 1999 cost him dearly. In 2001, after initially denying paternity, he committed to a one-time payment of six million euros and monthly maintenance of 5,100 euros. To date, this has added up to more than seven million euros.
One of Becker’s main problems seems to be an excessive lifestyle. One of his regular expenses is renting an apartment in London for €35,000 a month. In ten years, that would add up to 4.2 million euros. He is also said to have had a follower for years – including when traveling – which cost him 750,000 euros a year. However, it is unclear exactly what period of time we are talking about here, which is why the costs cannot be quantified, but they are certainly in the millions.
Becker’s manager at the time, Ion Tiriac, had the idea of investing part of Becker’s assets in three Mercedes-Benz car dealerships in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. In 1993, Becker paid an amount in the double-digit millions, but at that time it was still in German marks. In 2015, the car dealerships reported only a minimal profit per year, but debts of 9.4 million euros. In 2017 they were sold to Autohaus Brinkmann GmbH from Güstrow for an unknown price.
In 2002, Becker was sentenced to a suspended sentence and a fine totaling 500,000 euros for tax evasion by the Munich Regional Court. He also had to pay three million euros back taxes that he had evaded between 1991 and 1995 when he was officially registered in Monaco but lived in Munich. The fact that Becker immediately paid his tax debts had a mitigating effect.
Becker wasted a lot of money in Nigeria. Documents from the “Football Leaks” disclosure platform, which actually specializes in footballers, showed in 2017 that Becker is said to have apparently invested money in oil wells in Nigeria, Africa, from 2013. It is unclear how much money Becker lost. The documents speak of investments in the millions. The largest single sum was apparently around nine million euros. It is unclear exactly what these investments looked like, but their loss in value is said to have been the decisive factor in Becker’s bankruptcy in 2017.
In order to finance his high expenses, Becker has probably repeatedly taken out loans. He owes the Swiss businessman Hans-Dieter Cleven a total of around 36 million euros. It started in 2001 with a loan for the equivalent of 1.25 million euros, which grew annually with interest. Becker only partially served his installments. Worse is a loan from a British businessman who became public in the course of the bankruptcy proceedings. In 2014, Becker borrowed the equivalent of 2.1 million euros at an annual exorbitant interest rate of 25 percent. Since he did not pay until 2016, the lousy grew to more than four million euros.
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