The English Professional Footballers’ Association estimates that 10 to 20 per cent of ex-players go bankrupt. Many more run into big financial problems.

The Financial Times just published an article detailing the financial ruin that many former players face after retirement. Here’s how it typically breaks down: start as the sole breadwinner for a large extended family, add in a number of close associates, mix in expensive tastes, and finally, throw in corrupt financial planners, and you’ve got a dangerous cocktail once the paychecks stop rolling in. If anything, it’s a wonder that the percentage isn’t higher.

While it might be customary to groan about the exorbitant salaries footballers bring in, the reality is that very few have any sort of practical financial sense. Bred from a young age to be athletes, many young footballers live sheltered lives. So when that first large paycheck arrives in their late teens or early twenties, there’s no inclination to set anything aside for later. The PFA rate doesn’t come close to reaching those of American sports, which linger at about 78% of former players for the NFL, and 60% for the NBA, but still underlines the importance of educating young athletes.

As the ancient proverb goes, “mo money, mo problems.” [Posted by Maxi]  

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