Billy Corben made his movie too soon. Broke already needs another chapter.
To the list of broke athletes like Keith McCants, Bernie Kosar and Andre Rison, we must now add another name. This one comes from world football, and he's even familiar to American audiences.
Former Germany captain and Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack, it seems, is unable to pay a speeding fine. The reason? He is currently unemployed.
From the Daily Telegraph:
The former Germany captain was caught by a mobile speed camera doing 131mph in his four-wheel drive Audi U7 on a Spanish motorway near the resort town of Trujillo on Oct 17. The limit for that stretch of road is 75mph.
At his initial court hearing the day after his arrest, his legal team were told that he faced a two-year driving ban and an £8,000 fine.
But at a second hearing yesterday, which the 36 year-old did not have to attend because the offence does not lead to a potential jail term, his lawyer, Jesús Gallego Rol, requested that the fine be cut to £800 because Ballack has no income since he was released by Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.
That's right. Ballack was most recently employed by Bayer Leverkusen—until this past summer. And now he has no income.
Wait. It gets better. Much, much better.
According to the Telegraph, Ballack signed a deal worth £120,000 per week when he joined Chelsea in 2006. During a professional playing career that lasted from 1995 to 2012, Ballack also featured for high-profile clubs like Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen.
But that doesn't mean he has money. No way.
“Just because he is a famous footballer doesn’t mean he has any money coming in,” said Ballack's attorney, who also helpfully reminded everyone that high speeds are permitted on Germany's Autobahn.
What the Telegraph article does not mention is that Ballack worked as a studio pundit for ESPN's American television coverage of Euro 2012, during which time Ballack admittedly did little besides sucking air through his teeth and waging a passive-aggressive campaign against the generally aggravating presence of Alexi Lalas.
Surely, though, there was money involved in such an arrangement. No?
But let's not be too hard on Ballack. His financial problems could be worse. Much worse.