Charlie Batch could lose his Super Bowl rings in bankruptcy

One of the leading voices on the players’ side in the ongoing labor battle with NFL owners has some financial problems of his own.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch, who is actively involved in the NFLPA*’s negotiations with the NFL, filed for bankruptcy in December and could have personal property, including his two Super Bowl rings, seized to pay off his debt.

Batch’s bankruptcy filing listed $8.3 million in liabilities and $2.3 million in assets. His real estate company, Batch Development Co. Inc., had to turn over 25 properties after defaulting on a $1.15 million mortgage.

As we’ve noted in the past with players like Mark Brunell, who went bankrupt after making $52 million, there’s a long line of NFL players who go broke despite making enough money to last several lifetimes. And although it’s easy to say you’d have to be an idiot to make an eight-figure income and lose it all, Brunell and Batch both come across as smart people, even if they’ve made some incredibly foolish investments.

Batch has played 13 NFL seasons and got a $13 million signing bonus from the Lions in 2000.

77 responses to “Charlie Batch could lose his Super Bowl rings in bankruptcy

  1. Yet people still wonder why the owners don’t consider these morons as “partners”

  2. It IS easy to say that, because it’s true. You never invest every penny in something, all investments have some element of risk. He should have gotten out of this situation earlier, or put enough of his money away to weather a storm like this. There is absolutely NO excuse to have gotten a check for $13 Million at ANY point in your life, and later file for bankruptcy, all poor planning and investment skills. All the more reason when the league gets back together to make at least one financial consultation a year mandatory for players. Its sad that these players flush that much money down the drain. It’s no wonders the owners don’t want to give them any more.

  3. This is a good example of why I think the NFL season for this year will start soon. Many players in the NFL live their lives based on paycheck to paycheck, many of them do not know how to spend and handle their money. Many of the NFL players will be in the same situation as Charlie Batch. I assume we will have more articles like this. This also shows how poorly the NFL players selected other players to represent them. Charlie Batch is a prime example…..

  4. The Lions gave him a $13mil signing bonus?


    Sounds like the real estate market claimed another victim. Hard to understand why someone would risk that much money in the market though, considering the $20mil or so he earned throughout his career is enough to live a lifetime on…

  5. He’s a good guy. A lot of this is tied into him trying to provide recreation facilities for kids in his old neighborhood. Do some more research before you start pointing fingers.

  6. yes there is a long line of NFL players that blow through their money but there’s a huge difference between blowing your money on cars, cribs and hoes and losing your money because of the worst depression in 90 years like Batch and Brunell.

    So tell me, exactly how are you supposed to both invest your money and keep it too?

  7. i see it is a greed problem more than a stupidity problem. You get a $13M bonus and you’re not content with investing it safely and watching it grow at a modest rate? Even if you put it in a traditional savings account with no risk at all, you’d be set for life. why can’t people just sit still and enjoy their fortunes?

  8. Well keep in mind that Donald Trump has filed for bankruptcy several times. Football players are probably no more prone to bad investments and business downturns than anyone else.

  9. So…the teams rep in labor negotiations, which we all know are about money, has no money…..This is too funny….Batch Development Co. Inc?…How about this for a name…..I Have No Idea What I am Doing Co. Inc……

  10. Wow.. It’s a shame to see someone make millions and blow it all on investments that dont get you anywhere. In a way I feel sorry for him, but then i shouldn’t, because he should have had someone look after his money like an accountant.

  11. do any of the steeler players look intellient? QB cracks his head open on motorcycle with no helmet and does not believe in helmet laws.

    talk about ignorant…..

  12. Yeah, and the recent statements by players indicate just what is going on. Can’t remember the name right now, but I know he played for Buffalo at one point. Statement was basically:

    “We kicked their butts the last time. We aren’t going to settle.”

    They acknowledge that they got a superior deal than could have been expected last time, and they will not compromise this time. So much for wanting fan support and supposedly “representing fan interests.” This has made it clear that they are in it for one thing and one thing only, to take as much as they possibly can and more. They know they had a sweetheart deal, are even unwilling to continue to work under that arrangement temporarily, because they want more.

    For the players at least, this is not about coming up with a fair and equitable solution. This is about getting as much as possible, even at the expense of their employers and the fans.

    I will stop going to any player sponsored event. I refuse to give to any player sponsored charity. I will not watch any TV show they happen to be on, and I refuse to buy any product they endorse. I will do my part to make them suffer until they are willing to negotiate and come up with a reasonable deal.

    NFL, you are on notice as well. Make some progress, or I will stop buying ANY official NFL merchandise, tickets etc.

  13. Maybe instead of giving players extra money they should be given a mandatory financial planner. If they didn’t waste all their money on Crystal and car collections they wouldn’t be bitching about not having any money when they retire. News flash: you’re only going to be playing football for a few years, you will need to save some of that money for the rest of your life.

  14. Why not let the professionals do the negotiating?

    What qualifies players as negotiators – People have gone to college and have advanced degrees and years and years of experience in negotiations and you bring in a bunch of football players who may barely have graduated with a communications degree?

    – Its actually disrespectful.

  15. What? Bankruptcy? What, was all of his real estate holdings here in Detroit or something? I always liked Charlie Batch. He is one of the classiest guys in the NFL. Sucks that he just can not handle money.

  16. Yeah, because all you genius level investors on this site would have done better and you all have ZERO debt and have saved all your money to get ahead and can retire comfortably.

    I am sure if you look at your own neighbors, currently residing in YOUR income bracket, we wouldn’t find a record number of foreclosures or defaulted credit cards, car payments etc.? I will bet money a certain percentage of this sites viewers themselves have been in bankruptcy court.

    He was in CONSTRUCTION and probably floated it money through personal loans to keep it running until it got untenable.

    I believe GM and Chrysler spent some time in Banktruptcy court, too. Or Verizon. Or almost every airline. Bad luck and timing has little to do with intelligence.

    Seriously, folks, the guy had a string of bad luck and is restructuring his debt. Doesn’t mean he isn’t going to be fine down the road. He tried to diversify his portfolio and it didn’t work out in the worst economy since 1929.

    I would SERIOUSLY love to see some of the above posters financial information spread out all over for the world to see, completely out of context with no relevant information that could offer insight as to how someone arrives at this point.

    So come on, someone post and give me the “I did this and this and I only had this and I am doing OK.”

    Well, sir, you’d be the exception, not the rule.

  17. Lets see… When it comes to the owners and the NFL I’ve been hearing very logical arguments for why they need a new deal (i.e. cost and expenses have risen faster than revenue) and I’ve heard of numerous proposals and ideas they’ve thrown out to try to compramise and get a deal done.

    From the players I’ve heard:

    “The owners a bunch of liars!” while providing no actual solution to the problems.

    I’ve heard of a player threatening to call his attorney because he wouldn’t pull up his pants and hide his underwear in a public mall.

    I’ve heard of players getting arrested for DUI’s and illegal gun possesion charges.

    I’ve heard of multiple players make moronic comparisions to slavery and thier multi-million dollar careers that they chose to pursue…

    And now I’m hearing of another player who’s earned over $13 million dollars and now has to file bankruptcy because he mismanaged it and blew it all…

    Hmm… As a fan, it’s a really tough call as to which side I’m going to be supporting…

  18. if i had 13 mil in the bank i’d just keep it in a savings account, he got greedy with realstate and paid the price. Investors like him is why there was a bubble. I hope he loses his superbowl rings.

  19. Guys who are making millions of dollars should only invest conservatively and stay the heck away from Real Estate and Real Estate Development. When Real Estate bubbles burst, they go down fast, and are often the last investment to recover. I learned that in the college Business 101 course I took 35 years ago!!

  20. Never understood why these guys let themselves get so far extended on business ventures.
    I did see a story about a NY Giants lineman that played in the 1980’s that invested in some Hyundai car dealerships and it worked out for him and he is rich as hell now. But more often than not you see plenty of stories out there of athletes losing it all investing in real estate, restaurants, music labels and other business ventures.
    Screw investing, Batch has made over 20 million in his career. Go out buy a nice house a few nice cars put the rest in the bank and chill. Live the rest of your life with your wife and kids taking nice vacations and living a very nice lifestyle and reaping the rewards of a 10 yr NFL career.

  21. Gees, what ever happened to keeping your money under your matress. Seems like the best thing to do these days.

  22. Cmon guys, nobody saw the commercial real estate market falling off the cliff as fast as it did. I work in banking. All Real Estate-related companies are somewhat struggling right now. And any real estate-related company with the word “development” in it (like Batch Development Co.) are extremely struggling.

    They buy commercial properties at what seem like a discount at the time. They plan to develop them and rent them out, or sell them, or whatever. Next thing you know, every business in Amercia is hurting… nobody has the money to rent or buy the property you invested in. Then you realize that the property you bought 5 years ago is now worth less than half of what you bought it at. So you have a $6 million loan against a property that is now worth $3 million. Furthermore, it is generating no income because there is no demand. That’s how Batch’s liabilities are $6 million more than his assets, and that’s how you find yourself defaulting on a loan and in bankruptcy. I actually feel bad for him.

    It’s a business strategy that worked for decades. But these investors (including Batch) fall under the “wrong place at the wrong time” category.

  23. Idiots! If you give them what they want (more money) they would still be broke and filling for bankruptcy. These are the same guys that want to tell the owners how to run their businesses.

  24. With the contracts these guys sign I just don’t understand why they blow all their money and have to file bankruptcy. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

  25. Get in the long line of NFL jocks going broke… and they want to the tell the owners how to make financial decisions, too funny. When it’s all said and done the owners will mow through these dum-dums because it’s men vs. boys in terms of business.

  26. ‘You’d have to be an idiot to make an eight-figure income and lose it all’

    You know I would not be surprised if the grand total Wonderlic score of the top ten draft choices from last year was under 100. Pretty typical. And that’s why this type of situation happens!

  27. Rings? Ring(s)? Plural? More than one? I know he’s got a (1) O-N-E Super Bowl Ring. When did he get the second? I think latter this offseason if the CBA ever gets resolved the Steelers might get those much loved AFC Conference Championship ring, but it is certainly not a Super Bowl Ring.

  28. Its always amusing reading the comments of the 9-5 lifers out there who will never make $50K a year in their lives dissecting the financial affairs of football players.

    If Batch had to file bankruptcy due to a collapsed real estate market (as the story implies) then he joins a VERY long list of non athletes who did the same thing. Cubicle dwelling PFT posters who would have nothing insightful to say about the real estate bankruptcy filings of Prudential Americana, Kalikow Co., or The Devlin Group somehow feel emboldened to speak to a pro athlete’s finances.

    And if it’s a BLACK athlete (see the recent comments attached to the Jamarcus Russell story about a foreclosure as another example) then it fits even better into the “dumb black guy who would be flipping burgers if not for his athletic skills” meme.

  29. Invest the money with Warren Buffett. Let him do what he does best – invest. You do what you do best – play football.

    You see the same thing with lottery winners, they’ll win 20 million and be broke in 2 years by investing in silly stuff and going on buying sprees.

    It seems to me the best thing to do in those situations is put half in the bank and never, ever touch it. Take a small amount, say 5%, splurge on something crazy to get it out of your system, then use the remaining 45% to invest in a diversified set of investments, stocks, real estate, bonds, gold.

    It takes discipline, but it can be done.

  30. Open the Books the players books lets see how they spend there money

    Partners are you kidding me I would not let most of these guys go halfs on snow blower let alone a billion dollar business

  31. to all the morons who make comments about batch spending foolishly?he didn’t he invested in housing.and this economy killed the housing industry.
    so some of it is his fault cause he should have gotten out from under it before it got too bad,the other fault is our wonderful government for letting our country to get into the state it is in now.

    the guy spent alot of his money on helping kids and you want to make fun of him?you got class let me tell ya


    how did ben become involved in a story about batch?talk about ignorant,you are at the top of that list,what happened to ben was an accident,and there are millions of riders who dont wear then,its a choice of theres.just like you make it your choice to run your mouth and be ignorant

  32. I am sure that Charlie had a Financial advisor. As many of the “stupid” people who lost everything investing did. Charlie Batch does not seem like the kind of player to go out and blow tons of money. Just some bad luck in a bad economy.

    If everyone that post on this site were given millions of dollars most would end up in BK.

  33. We all make bad decisions, and some body advised him and made money off his investments.
    It can happen to anybody who isn’t looking at the big picture.
    You always have to have plan B with that much invested

  34. Rings? Ring(s)? Plural? More than one? I know he’s got a (1) O-N-E Super Bowl Ring. When did he get the second? I think latter this offseason if the CBA ever gets resolved the Steelers might get those much loved AFC Conference Championship ring, but it is certainly not a Super Bowl Ring.

    Steelers beat the Seahawks – Batch was on the team and got a ring

    Steelers beat the Cardinals – Batch was the team (IR I believe) and got a ring.

    Pretty easy explanation I think.

  35. Guess we know why some are pushing for higher veteran pay scales now….ridiculous

  36. boysroll says: Mar 23, 2011 12:18 PM

    “do any of the steeler players look intellient?”

    ..coming from a Cowboys fan.
    too funny…

    better clean your own house first boy…

  37. I see no reason to criticize Batch because from all reports I have read, he is a good guy who has given a lot of time and money back to his community.

    I will say this though, having him be one of lead negotiators while he is in the middle of a bankruptcy might not be the best idea. His situation just underscores the owners position that there is risk in investment and that they aren’t making enough profit to justify their risk.

  38. Honestly he is probably the last person on the Steelers I would expect to hear this about. He always seemed like one of the few smart ones. Guess you never know.

  39. Thirteen million is enough for a few lifetimes. Me personally, I would invest in small increments, test the waters. But my biggest thing would be a simple thing called a bank account. With that large sum of money, you could bacically live off of the interest. These players just get foolish with their spending habits. I can see owning one very expensive home and vehicle, not a fleet of them. As for donations, you get most of that back at the end of the year when you do your taxes.

    You can live very well without going broke.
    If you can’t figure it out yourself, they have these people you can hire called financial advisors.

  40. …And although it’s easy to say you’d have to be an idiot to make an eight-figure income and lose it all…
    That’s still the way I see it. Yeah, it takes money to make money, but only a dam fool would put everythinghe has into a speculative deal…(IMHO)

  41. @ SportsJustice

    Super Bowl XL: Take one finger out of your nose.
    Super Bowl XLIII: Take another finger out of your behind.

    Now count the sticky finger and brown finger.

    one….. two…

  42. Could Batch not live off the interest that he would receive off of $13 million?

    Even just 1% (a super low risk investment) of 13MIL is 130,000 a yr!!!! So, yes, he could’ve EASILY lived off of that 13MIL FOREVER!!!


  43. Seems fitting that a disbanded organization has a destitute person of dissolved assets advising them.

  44. With 2 mil in assets and 8 mil in debts, I’d say Charlie should be happy to give up the rings and keep the fingers that they are worn on.

  45. “Yeah, because all you genius level investors on this site would have done better and you all have ZERO debt and have saved all your money to get ahead and can retire comfortably.”
    you’re exactly right tiredoftheidiots –

    these are the same morons that will then turn around and piss-and-moan because the rich people are holding all their money and won’t start businesses or hire people.

  46. Hey, yet ANOTHER athlete who was already a millionaire yet decided to blow it all trying to double his fortune in real estate.

    If I already had several million dollars, what would I do? Sink it all into some get rich quick real estate boondoggle, or a chain of restaurants that people will stop caring about within a year or two? Or would I invest some of it in something more sensible and long term?

    Or would I buy a gold plated Bentley, drive down to the dog track and put it all on a dog named Lucky? Yeah, that’s what I’d do.

  47. @ dryzzt23 says: Mar 23, 2011 12:23 PM

    Could Batch not live off the interest that he would receive off of $13 million?


    No he couldn’t – if he invested in corporate bonds at, say 4%, that would only net his $520,000 per year.

    And, seriously, how is ANYONE supposed to live on that kind of money on an annual basis?

  48. Ok Arm Chair investors –

    #1. Players don’t get $13 million when they sign; remember taxes. And I’m not talking the 15% capital gains tax that rich investors & the Owners pay, but instead what us normal working stiffs pay and a little bit more (around 36 to 40% according to when they got it). Then you have state tax (another 5-10%).

    Now it is down to $7.5 million and then a percentage of that is taken by the Agent. So now that they have less than half.

    What happened is many of these players invested their money or created businesses under their names. These businesses aren’t corporations with stocks, but instead LLC’s or basic one owner businesses. So if these businesses lose money, they aren’t like the CEO’s who walk away with millions and a golden parachute, instead they are liable out of their own pockets. So if your business messes up badly and ends up owing more than it is worth you have to sell your house to pay. (The CEO just watch’s the company burn from his house).

    An example is the late Dave Duerson who’s business went under because of a third party vendor. He took that vendor to court and won a huge settlement but they went bankrupt before he could collect. So he ended up financially ruined for no fault of his own.

    Now I would never get $7 million and go broke, but unlike you or I neither is Mr. Batch. He may have to give back certain things, but a large amount of his assets are protected under bankruptcy. This way he removes his debts while still living much better than you or I could ever imagine.

    And like someone else stated, how many times has the Donald filed for bankruptcy? It is a part of business.

  49. Kind of hard to side with the players after another idiot loses it all. You don’t need to be smart to be an athlete.

    By the way was I assume that $13 million signing bonus was a Matt Millen deal-another idiot.

  50. Yeah, well how many of you “educated superstars” would be solvent today if you were given 13 mil in 2000?

  51. And there’s your poster child for why NOT to give MORE money to some of these clowns. They just piss it away anyhow. Well done, Chuck.

  52. Batch and Brunell don’t strike me as smart people, rather they strike me as people of inferior intellect. But I’m using myself as a baseline, and I am a smart person. Those guys are not, period.

  53. Fans keep ragging on how dumb the players are but who is the idiot that gave 13 million dollars to Charlie Batch. Owners keep writing checks and athletes keep getting paid. Yeah I think I would rather be a dumb player.

  54. thestrategyexpert –

    But I’m using myself as a baseline, and I am a smart person.
    Humble much?!? 100% of people think their good drivers too, but I’m pretty sure their not all good drivers LOL!!!

  55. As someone else said, there is a HUGE difference between losing money on poor investments in a global economic meltdown, and blowing it on drugs and bling. Batch lost money on investments just as many of the people mouthing off here have done … and many team owners have done. I’d rather be Batch than some jackass who needs to make himself feel like a Big Man by kicking someone else when he’s down.

    Good luck, Charlie. Figure out a way to keep them from taking the rings.

  56. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 23, 2011 3:40 PM

    Batch and Brunell don’t strike me as smart people, rather they strike me as people of inferior intellect. But I’m using myself as a baseline, and I am a smart person. Those guys are not, period.

    seriously?you say you are a smart person?based on what,lol

    i love how people pat themselves on the back like that,shows how pathetic they are

  57. 4 out of 5 NFL players are either in severe financial distress or bankruptcy within 2 years of leaving the game. Batch and Brunell just got head starts.

  58. Wow – our country is based upon the idea that taking risks creates jobs for those who don’t wish to take risks or simply don’t have the “intestinal fortitude” to do so.

    Real estate took a beating and there have been casualties. I am a real estate investor and the past few years have been extremely challenging. When people and businesses fail, they can’t pay rents. Rents are what pays mortgages for investors.

    For all of you who think Charlie is stupid – why don’t you try to do what he did. My guess is that most of you wouldn’t have the first idea – why don’t you just save your money, live your paycheck to paycheck, and just criticize others who have the drive to create jobs for you.

    I’m sure Charlie wishes he had done things different, but at least he was willing to go out on a limb and try.

  59. Charlie is a really good guy! He is from my home town and he has done as much as anyone to try and give back to a very depressed city. He has financed many things that were wonderful efforts to give young peopl opportunities to a better life than the one he had growing up. My kids attend his summer camp every year. Its amamzing how a story of a man losing all that he has causes people to pile on by calling him names. Charlie is a humanitarian and i for one am proud of his efforts to make a better life for others. His invetment into others lives will never go unrewarded! I for one would like to thank him because I have seen the changes that his money has made.

    For all of you who are piling on at what is probably his lowest moment of life should really look at yourselves. He may be financially bankcrupt but you all are morally bancrupt. People all over our country have lost homes and money doing things that were completely selfish. Charlie lost while trying to help people…there is a difference. I for one hope that Charlie is able to recover from this….He’s a great man!

  60. Pittsburgh has the most f’d up, stupid, scumbag players in the league.

    Like their owner.

    Like their fans.

  61. minnesconsin says:
    Mar 23, 2011 12:08 PM
    i see it is a greed problem more than a stupidity problem. You get a $13M bonus and you’re not content with investing it safely and watching it grow at a modest rate? Even if you put it in a traditional savings account with no risk at all, you’d be set for life. why can’t people just sit still and enjoy their fortunes?
    Unless the money was in one of the numerous banks that failed – then you are only guaranteed $250,000 in FDIC deposit insurance.

  62. Charlie Batch is no Dez Bryant. He was actually trying to invest in something and hire people. HUGE HUGE HUGE difference. Everytime I read a negative player story, I’m reminded of the last Superbowl debacle and greed of owners like Jerry Jones or other owners who are so out of touch of reality that they whined that they had to use the regular entrance instead of the VIP or weren’t given a limo.

    Players aren’t the only greedy ones.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.