Champions League and World Cup star who sparked manhunt after retiring loses fight over £6million loss in housing empire | The Sun

EX-LIVERPOOL right-back Steve Finnan who once triggered a bizarre manhunt has lost a legal battle to claim £6 million in compensation.

The 47-year-old – briefly untraceable in 2015 – blamed lawyers for the collapse of the housing empire he built with brother, Sean.

It turned out to be a disaster and the pair fell out leaving Mr Finnan, who is Irish, alleging to be more than £6 million out of pocket.

Representing himself in court he sued former lawyers Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

But this week the case was kicked out by High Court judge Master Katherine McQuail.

She said the ex-footballer couldn't prove he was any worse off after seeking legal advice than he would have been otherwise.

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The Irishman was in the Reds lineup which clawed back the legendary 2005 Champions League final win against AC Milan in Istanbul.

Finnan is the only footballer to play in the World Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup, Intertoto Cup, all four levels of English league football and the conference.

But in June 2005 he was arrested after running over an 81-year-old man from Liverpool who later died from his injuries.

After retiring in 2010, his decision to keep a low profile saw fans launch a bizarre campaign to find him.

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It came as organisers failed to track him down for a 2015 reunion of the Champions League winning team – he was found "safe and well" a short time later.

Unlike former teammates such as Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, Finnan had gone into property not punditry.

He bankrolled a south west London-based property business, run through two companies which he owned with Sean, who managed the firm.

Among the portfolio was a massive house near Wimbledon Common, properties in nearby Ridgeway Place, and several flats elsewhere.

Master McQuail said the "first expression of the claimant's concerns" about the business had come in an email from Mr Finnan to the companies' solicitor in 2016.

She said he complained that despite "significant funding from the claimant by way of loans, the companies appeared to have no money, at least in part because Sean had spent it personally."

He said money had been wasted on legal issues which were "down to Sean", that his brother's dealings with a contractor had been "needlessly expensive" and that there was a risk the companies would default on loans.

Mr Finnan instructed Charles Russell Speechlys to file "unfair prejudice" petitions against Sean who denied misconduct but admitted their relationship had broken down.

He changed lawyers but the case did not go to trial and the brothers settled outside court, with Sean agreeing to transfer his shares to Mr Finnan and to pay him £4 million.

That sum was not paid and in 2019 Mr Finnan had his brother made bankrupt claiming he only got £187,570 from the sale of the companyand £89,345 following the sale of another property.

Amid the ordeal he auctioned off his Champions League winners' medal.

Mr Finnan went on to sue his former solicitors, claiming that he should have been advised to request repayment of director's loans rather than file the "unfair prejudice" petitions.

He claimed he lost £3.3m in loans to the companies, £2.6m in shares, about £400,000 in lawyers' bills, as well as other money, totalling more than £6m.

But the solicitors said Mr Finnan was determined to pursue legal proceedings against his brother.

And they said Mr Finnan failed to show how he could have got out from the ordeal in any better position than he in fact did because companies had no money to repay the loans anyway.

Master McQuail said Mr Finnan had in fact made demands for repayment of the directors' loans – and got nothing.

She added: "Neither Sean nor the companies responded by meeting the demands with payment at any stage after Charles Russell Speechlys were instructed."

She said Mr Finnan's claims were "contradicted" by his own evidence and his correspondence showed this.

Master McQuail added how there was "no reasonable ground" for bringing the claim and struck it out.

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Limerick-born Mr Finnan began his career with non-league Welling United, rising through the football pyramid to play for Liverpool between 2003 and 2008.

He played for Ireland 52 times.

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