Former Newcastle striker Michael Chopra pays only £6 a WEEK child support… despite his links with £280m Toon takeover bid!
- Former striker Michael Chopra is paying just £6 a week in child maintenance
- He is being pursued by his ex-wife for thousands in alleged missed payments
- Chopra is, however, involved in a proposed £280m takeover bid for his old club
Former Newcastle striker Michael Chopra is paying just £6 a week in child maintenance and is being pursued by his ex-wife for thousands of pounds in alleged missed payments despite his involvement in a proposed £280million takeover bid for his old club.
The 36-year-old could face court action from former partner Heather Swan to recoup the arrears to help with the upbringing of their 12-year-old son, understood to total almost £15,000.
Chopra is fronting an attempt to buy Newcastle by the Singapore-based Bellagraph Nova Group which was launched in August. Chopra insisted on Tuesday that the bid remains in play, with the sums involved contrasting starkly with the former Sunderland, Cardiff and Ipswich striker’s management of his family finances.
Former Newcastle striker Michael Chopra (above) is paying £6 a week in child maintenance
His child maintenance obligations are based on his declaration to HMRC that his weekly income is just £40.87, which is understood to be based on the PFA pension he has received since leaving Alloa Athletic four years ago.
In a 16-year professional career during which he played for 10 different clubs, Chopra amassed millions of pounds in wages, although he has previously encountered financial difficulties related to a gambling problem.
Chopra is understood to have made the most recent payment to Swan last week, but is contesting the Child Maintenance Service’s (CMS) demands for arrears on the grounds that they are based on an old tax code, which he claims expired in 2015.
Chopra (left) is being pursued by his ex-wife for thousands in alleged missed payments
Sportsmail has seen some of Chopra’s extensive correspondence with the CMS. In it he details his employment history and asks for the demands to be adjusted to reflect the fact that he has not worked in the UK since leaving Alloa in March 2016, meaning he is not liable for child maintenance.
Other than the PFA pension, Chopra has not received any income in this country since 2016, when he briefly played for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League. While he lives in Amsterdam, Chopra is employed by an Indonesian oil company based in Jakarta, Bemi Energi. Based on his UK income he is liable to pay £16 a week, although after Government fees and commission only around £6 goes to his former wife.
Chopra said on Tuesday that he is meeting all his obligations and that in addition he has set up an overseas bank account to provide financial support for his son in future. The stand-off over his child maintenance contributions appears to be the result of his acrimonious relationship with his ex-wife Swan, a recently qualified barrister, who publicly announced that their marriage was over on Facebook in 2009.
Chopra is fronting a bid from a Singapore-based group to buy Newcastle from Mike Ashley (L)
Chopra’s role as a middle-man in the BN Group’s offer for Newcastle emerged this summer after the collapse of the rival £300m bid from Saudi Arabia’s Private Investment Fund. He was reported to have introduced the BN Group to Newcastle at a meeting in Paris in August and in the aftermath of the talks publicly criticised owner Mike Ashley’s approach to the negotiations on Twitter.
Chopra enjoyed a well-travelled career which began at home-town club Newcastle and ended at Kerala. He scored over 100 goals and was capped by every England age-group up to the Under 20s, but also attracted controversy.
In addition to several stays at the Sporting Chance clinic as he sought help from a gambling addiction, Chopra was given a 10-year ban from racing by the British Horseracing Authority following an investigation into ‘suspicious betting activity’ in 2013. Two years earlier he gave evidence on behalf of a drugs cartel at Newcastle Crown Court.