John Terry and Rio Ferdinand face losing millions to unfinished Moroccan villas

The Premier League football stars are just one of hundreds of British buyers who invested in the $200m development in Morocco. The beachside resort was promised to feature 1,342 properties, accompanied by three golf courses and a sports complex. But so far, nothing has been built at the site for four years, reports The Daily Mail .

The footballers, including Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Gary Neville, did promotional work for the project in exchange for discounts on the properties, adds the newspaper, but have found themselves faced with losing deposits alongside other buyers.

Investors paid “at least €30,000 on properties worth up to £1million” in 2006, continues the paper, adding up to a total sum of around £40million for developers Property Logic. In 2009, though, work stopped after the funding parties went bankrupt, leaving the developer struggling to find finance.

480 of the affected investors are British.

One of the buyers, Trevor Cockrell, told the Mail: “A lot of investors are going to be disappointed. At first, everything was fine – we were given flashy promotional material about footballers investing and we thought if they were part of it, it must be a good idea.

“But now we’ve accepted it will not get off the ground. It’s all right for the footballers because it is just a drop in the ocean for them, but this is going to hit many others hard. Nothing has happened at the site for years.”

Sean Cusack, a director at Property Logic, commented: “We appreciate the development should have been ready years ago but no one was able to predict the financial crisis.

“Some investors have become tetchy and at the moment we haven’t been able to find financiers. However, we are in discussions and are hopeful the people who still want their apartments will get them.

“The footballers have been patient,” he added. “They know we’re not responsible for the recession.”