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Elton John World News: Big spender Elton heads for crisis

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The Guardian, UK

Wednesday 28 January 1998 @ 1:00 - GMT

ALL in all, Elton John should be feeling quite pleased. After all, just pounds 250 for some curtains is not bad by any standards.

    

But unfortunately the other items on his pounds 280,050 weekly spending list are causing concern.

       

Accountants have warned of a cash-flow crisis for the singer whose Candle In The Wind has raised pounds 30 million for the Princess Diana memorial fund.

       

The information was revealed in a letter from accountants Price Waterhouse to Sir Elton's management company, John Reid Enterprises. It warns: "Cashflow projections show available headroom running out by substantial sums by April."

       

A summary of his shopping sprees shows where the money goes. His extravagance was flaunted at his 50th birthday party last year, which produced a catering bill for pounds 121,000. His wig alone cost pounds 3,500.

       

Highlights from his shopping past include pounds 80,000 on fine art and pounds 30,000 on antiques bought at auction, pounds 50,000 at jewellers Theo Fennell and another pounds 50,000 to pay his monthly credit card bill.

       

On one trip to Theo Fennell's, Sir Elton spent pounds 200,000.

    

Six weeks later he returned to spend another pounds 84,000. Three weeks after that he spent pounds 55,000 at the Fulham Road jewellers, and two weeks later another pounds 51,000.

       

But his expensive tastes run to more than jewellery. When he is in England - he has properties in Windsor, London, Atlanta, Georgia, and the French Riviera - Sir Elton has two florists making 240 flower arrangements a week for his homes. Another passion is clothing - he splashed out pounds 250,000 on Versace on one trip.

       

A "senior member of Elton's circle" who leaked details of his spending to the Mirror, revealed how he once spent pounds 527,849 in one day, calling at Sotheby's and Christie's, before paying pounds 250,000 to his interior designers.

       

Sir Elton prefers to go shopping in one of his four Bentley Azures, part of a fleet of cars worth almost pounds 2 million and costing pounds 5,000 per week in maintenance.

       

Suggested solutions to the impending crisis include securing an advance on his autobiography, touted at the Frankfurt book fair where a rumoured pounds 3 million price tag priced it out of the market, or stepping up his one-off performances.

       

Although the identity of the informant was not revealed, it could be a disgruntled member of his management company. Staff at John Reid Enterprises were informed in November that Sir Elton would not be buying them Christmas presents due to his work schedule.

 

        Week's bills

  1.         Jewellery: pounds 50,000

  2.           Flowers: pounds 10,000

  3.           Furniture: pounds 15,000

  4.           Fine art: pounds 80,000

  5.           Antiques: pounds 30,000

  6.           Vet's bills: pounds 5,000

  7.           Car maintenance: pounds 5,000

  8.           Petty cash: pounds 2,500

  9.           Restaurants: pounds 800
  10.           Curtains: pounds 250