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Spend It Like Beckham: FTSE Money Expert Obi Nnochiri talks Moneyball and what professional footballers can Teach Us About Personal Finance

Moneymagpie Team 1st Nov 2023 No Comments

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Rags, riches, and red cards: How to ensure the money doesn’t run out, what we can learn and how we can avoid the financial mistakes of premier league footballers-

Arguably the best footballer in the world, having enjoyed one of the sport’s most illustrious careers and with a net worth of £425million, David Beckham is no stranger to wealth, nor does he spring to mind when it comes to ‘sudden wealth syndrome,’ an industry issue sadly leaving so many professional footballers bankrupt. However, in the wake of Netflix’s brilliant four-part series, which sees the superstar bare his soul, among the many revelations was how he spent his first pay cheques.

Admitting that; ‘My first contract with Adidas was £50,000 and, soon after, I bought an M3 for £50,000,’ and reaffirmed by Gary Neville: ‘He’d get his salary on a Friday, spend it all on Saturday, and wait for a week until his next pay cheque to buy the matching jacket to a pair of jeans he’d already bought.’ – the world of professional football often sees big salaries and extravagant lifestyles making the headlines.

However, behind the glamour and fame, there is a hidden issue that plagues many footballers: ‘sudden wealth syndrome.’ Despite earning millions during their relatively short careers, many end up bankrupt. According to a 2017 report by The Guardian, 1 in 3 Premier League footballers declared bankruptcy within five years of retirement. This alarming statistic raises the question: What can professional footballers do differently to protect their fortunes?

Footballers in the Premier League are some of the highest-paid athletes in the world. Their salaries often exceed the wildest dreams of ordinary individuals. However, despite their substantial earnings, for several reasons many footballers fall victim to financial ruin after their playing careers come to an

The number of premier League footballers facing financial ruin, despite their substantial salaries, is a pervasive issue that demands our attention. Players thrust both into the spotlight – and super high earning bracket – makes them more vulnerable than you might have considered. Therefore, it’s crucial that they understand the value of their money, how to plan for the long-term, where they can benefit from trusted advice – and perhaps most importantly, the necessity of diversifying how and where they invest and spend their money.

Many footballers come from modest backgrounds, lacking the financial education necessary to handle such vast sums of money. They are thrust into a world of luxury and extravagance without the tools to navigate it wisely. Moreover, the pressure to keep up with the lifestyles of their fellow players and the constant exposure to opulence make it challenging to exercise restraint.

Exacerbating this problem is the absence of proper, or trusted, financial advice. Footballers often lack a reliable support system to guide them through the complexities of personal finance. Without expert guidance, they are susceptible to making ill-informed investment decisions, falling into debt, or becoming victims of financial exploitation.

When it comes to high earners like premiere league footballers, I cannot stress enough the significance of partnering with a Chartered Financial Advisor. The unique circumstances faced by professional footballers demand a level of expertise and trust that goes beyond traditional financial planning.

A Chartered Financial Advisor brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. They will understand the complexities involved in managing significant sums of money, navigating complex investment situations, and planning for a future beyond a short-term career; supporting with trusted, specialist advice that is aligned with their unique circumstances, the intricacies of their tax planning, wealth preservation strategies, and long-term investment solutions.

In the fast-paced world of professional football, it’s crucial to have a trusted advisor who can help you make the most of your financial opportunities. With a Chartered Financial Advisor by your side, you can have confidence that your financial wellbeing is in the hands of a dedicated professional who has your best interests at heart.’

Obi goes on to suggest that just three changes in gameplay could be all it takes to change the outcome for so many footballers:

Three gameplays to ensure financial freedom for footballers:

1. Surrounding yourself with Useful People: One key piece of advice for footballers is to surround themselves with a network of reliable and knowledgeable individuals. These people can offer guidance, wisdom, and a reality check when needed. Robbie Fowler, the former Liverpool, and England striker is a prime example of a footballer who understood the value of building a supportive team. He surrounded himself with trusted advisors and took a proactive approach to managing his wealth.

Fowler recognised the need to seek professional advice and carefully consider his financial decisions. He invested wisely in property and business ventures, securing his financial future beyond his playing career. By surrounding himself with useful people, Fowler was able to navigate the challenges of sudden wealth and build a successful post-football life.

2. Include a Trusted Financial Advisor within your Entourage: Another vital aspect of managing wealth for footballers is finding a trusted financial advisor. A knowledgeable and experienced advisor can provide personalised advice tailored to the unique circumstances of each player. They can help footballers make sound investment decisions, create a long-term financial plan, and protect their wealth.

For instance, David Beckham, the iconic former Manchester United and England midfielder, partnered with financial experts who helped him make astute investments and diversify his portfolio. Beckham’s successful transition from the pitch to various business ventures demonstrates the impact of having a reliable advisor to guide financial decision-making.

A trusted financial advisor can help footballers navigate the complexities of investing, manage risk, and ensure financial stability for the future. Their expertise in wealth management can safeguard players from potential pitfalls and enable them to make informed choices that align with their long-term goals.

3. Diversify where you spend and invest: Diversifying where they spend their money is a fundamental principle that footballers should embrace, because while of course there is no shame in enjoying that hard-earned cash, financial security cannot rely solely on high-risk ventures or extravagant purchases. It is all too easy to get caught up in the allure of expensive cars, designer clothes, expensive watches, and extravagant parties. However, it is important to strike a balance and make conscious decisions about where their hard-earned money goes. By diversifying their spending habits, players can protect themselves from overspending and unsustainable lifestyles that often lead to financial distress.

Diversifying investments is equally crucial. Relying solely on one avenue, such as real estate or endorsements, can be risky. Players should seek expert advice to create a balanced and diversified investment portfolio that spreads risk across different asset classes. This approach mitigates the potential impact of economic downturns or sudden market fluctuations.

Sudden wealth syndrome has seen many premier league footballers go from riches to red cards to rags overnight. Beneath the high salaries and luxurious lifestyles, these players are more financially vulnerable than you’d think and believing that they can rely solely on their footballing career as the source of wealth is incredibly risky.

Financial education and confidence are often overlooked aspects in the footballing world. However, by taking the time to learn about financial management, you gain control over your own destiny. It’s about making informed decisions, setting goals, and preparing for life beyond the playing field.

I urge young professional footballers to seek out a reputable financial advisor who understands their unique circumstances. Surround yourself with a team of professionals who can help you make the most of your newfound wealth while safeguarding your future.

With the right guidance and a disciplined approach, you can create a solid foundation that extends far beyond your playing career. Remember, it’s not just about the game; it’s about securing a prosperous and fulfilling life both on and off the pitch.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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