Jun 20

Make money watching football

Reading Time: 7 mins

You can make money watching football – it’s not a pipe dream.

Obviously a lot of people do it by betting but we think that that’s a quick way to lose money, not make it.

You don’t need to be blessed with the talent of Pele or the charisma of Gary Lineker to make money from football.

Nor do you need to spend your hard-earned money betting…and mostly losing!

While you may not be making millions as some Premier League stars do, by delving into your skill set and employing a hint of persistence and luck along the way, you could be making money watching football. Read more to find out how…


1. Make money watching football – fan memorabilia

Remember the days when tickets to matches were cheap as chips, players drank in the clubs after games and you had only a handful of games on TV a year if you were lucky?

If you do remember them and you managed to keep some programmes, medals or autographs from those times then they could make you money.

If you’re looking to make some money out of football memorabilia, go forMoneyMagpie_Old-Football-Programme

  • old programs/brochures (much coveted, particularly for famous matches)
  • shirts (ideally signed)
  • signed photos
  • signed footballs
  • medals and more,

You’re also more likely to make money from them if they are either from really famous matches or very popular football teams such as Man Utd, Arsenal,Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.The more people that are after an item the more its value goes up. If people in China and the Middle East want your signed photo of David Beckham or Wayne Rooney, you’re going to be able to charge a lot.

It’s also the age of the items and their quality that counts. The legendary footballer Geoff Hurst is putting his shirt from the 1966 world cup game up for sale at Sotheby’s in July. It’s expected to sell for between £300,000-500,000. The West Ham striker became really famous after becoming the first and only footballer to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final when his goals helped England beat West Germany 4-2.

Now it’s unlikely that you will get your hands on that sort of item for cheap down at the local car boot, but there are other bits and pieces often sold off by people who don’t know their worth.

If you’re knowledgeable about football, and your club especially, you can make money by buying and selling memorabilia.

Even ticket stubs from every game you go to and anything you can get any of the players to sign could make you some cash later on, particularly if there’s something special about that game.


where to find football memorabilia

It’s getting harder to pick up a bargain now as, since the 90’s, people have become more clued-up a out the value of sporting memorabilia generally.

However, it’s still possible to pick up a bargain at a car boot sale or a charity shop if you know what to look for. Similarly there may be bargains on eBay. (However, remember you are often bidding against people around the world who are also fans.)make money watching football

Graham Budd who runs Graham Budd Auctions, sells sporting memorabilia. He says that on the whole the really valuable items are ones that people either collected before the 90s or, ideally, inherited from their Dad or Grandfather.

He says, “generally speaking, the older the item, the better. If, say, your grandad kept 200 football programmes from the 30s or the 50s then they can be quite valuable . A pre-war FA cup final programme can be anything from £200-1,5000 depending on its age and condition.

“Also, it’s a dying art now, but autograph collections can be worth something. Nowadays people aren’t asking for autographs, they just whip their phone out and ask for a photograph. An autograph album full of signatures from players from the 50’s could be worth £500 now.”

So given that few people are grabbing celeb player autographs now it might be a good idea to get them yourself. Hang around outside the players’ dressing rooms and see if you can get their autographs after a match. They could be valuable later on because of rarity, particularly if you can get them to sign a programme. Graham says that if you have a programme with autographs from all the players of a game from, say, the 60’s it could be worth £1,000-1,5000 now.

Graham also says that occasionally he’s had a phone call on a Monday morning from a fan who attended a match and caught a player’s thrown shirt. These can sell for few hundred quid, so if you get one, make some money from it!

where to sell football memorabilia

If you have something of real value then you’re best off selling it at a specialist auction. In fact, you can try the really big ones like Sotheby’s or Christies if it’s a special item. in 2001, the TV personality Nick Hancock bought Stanley Matthews’ FA 1953 FA cup winners medal in for £20,000. He sold it at auction in 2014 for £220,000. But not everyone gets the chance to pick up that kind of item.

However, Graham Budd says that if you’re buying at auction, buy a few items of high quality rather than lots of cheaper ones. You might have to wait 15-20 years to make money on it but you will have more chance with good quality stuff.

When it comes to lower-value football memorabilia, an obvious place to sell is eBay. The biggest advantage of this is that it’s internationally known so fans around the world will be trawling it for gems. They have a (not particularly well-written) article about how to sell sporting memorabilia here. We also have an article (much better written) here about how to sell on eBay generally.make money watching football

The key to attracting people to your items are the correct keywords, especially in your listing title. Make sure to pack your title and description with the key words. To find a reasonable price for your item, put the name of it in the search bar and see what others are selling it (or something similar) for. If you list it as a ‘Buy It Now’ item you should get the best price, although you may need to wait for it to sell.

The important thing for buyers – particularly when it comes to signed memorabilia – is proof of authenticity. If you have some proof that the signature and the item is genuine then you’re likely to get more money. If you don’t have that then buyers have to hope and they will pay much less for that of course,


2. Make money watching football

Yes seriously, you can actually get a full-time job as a football ‘watcher’ or ‘analyser’.

There are companies that analyse teams and games and crunch data from them to predict the outcome of future games.

make money watching footballAlthough being a ‘football watcher’ does involve ‘watching football’ it isn’t just that. You have to have an in-depth knowledge of football in order to analyse and register events. It’s data analysis really and involves a lot of concentration and data input.

For example, a current advert for one of these jobs, in central London, says:

“Your job will be to watch matches, both live and recorded, and register events using our software system. You will be exposed to football from several different leagues and you will need to learn quickly how to apply our framework.

“Watching a game is intensive, repetitive and requires meticulous attention to detail. Your registrations will contribute to our database and each registration can have an important impact on our prediction of the team’s strength in a match.”

Phew – doesn’t sound like quite so much fun now!.The pay is kind of medium too:

“Salary is per game when watching games, and per hour for other tasks, most Match Analysts earn between 22-24K per year. There is the prospect of promotion to Junior League Analyst for our most hard-working and dedicated analysts.”

The hours are usually at evening and weekends, so you need to be a real fan – and someone who is into data analysis – for this job. But if you are, your friends will really envy you!

Companies such as Football Radar and Opta offer positions for football watchers.


3. Make money watching football and Blogging about it

If you’re a major football fan then writing about the beautiful game could be how you make money from it. Not that it’s easy to make money from it.

You know the old saying – football is a game of opinions? make money watching footballWell that is certainly the case when you look at the number of blogs that are out there.

The key is to find a niche area that people haven’t explored, such as youth players or players who have moved on to drastically different fields from football.

Once you have a subject area, your next step is to set up your blog using sites such as WordPress, Wix or Weebly. Then you need to promote your blog via social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Again, this sounds straightforward but to get the number of followers you need you will have to

Twitter is probably the best for interacting with fellow football fans and an easy way to arouse interest in your work, but keep posting on Facebook as well.

Once you have built up a following, you can start participating in affiliate marketing and advertising. It won’t bring in more than pennies until you get tens of thousands of visits per month. However, if you’re information and opinions are popular, you can get to that.

Not only that, but you may be asked to write for football publications who will pay you for your work. One blogger, Michael Cox, is a tactical analyst and filled his blog with analysis of specific games. He now writes for the Guardian because his blog was spotted by someone in their sports department.

You can find out more about making money writing a blog here.

Have you managed to make money from football without betting? Let us know by commenting in the comment box below.


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Jamie Forrest
Jamie Forrest

Don’t buy memorabilia from people who get the autographs from standing outside training grounds etc, get them from companies who do official paid signing sessions.


Interesting article. Some clever ways to make money indeed. I enjoy making money from football games too all online. Essentially, you can make around 500 quid each month based on every sporting event. Google Profit Squirrel for more info 😉

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