A great read and insight into why Gareth uses his position to keep promoting the benefits of financial advice and his remarkable journey that led to this great CityWire feature [By AIDAN BANKS-BROOME]
“Ex-Port Vale defender Gareth Griffiths explains his move from footballer to financial adviser and what it’s like having footballers as clients.
At the age of 15, Gareth Griffiths, managing director of advice firm Pro Sport Wealth Management, gave up his dream of becoming a footballer. Instead, he became a trainee structural draughtsman at a steel company, keeping his hobby alive by playing football on Saturdays. He certainly didn’t expect to get scouted for second division football club Port Vale.
But in 1993, two months before his 23rd birthday, Griffiths (pictured above) found himself signing a professional contract with the club.
Entering the professional football scene at a later age was daunting for Griffiths. He recalls facing a cup final at Wembley Stadium, describing the experience as a ‘big baptism of fire’.
‘I was very fortunate to be given that opportunity. Without a doubt though, it was a strange scenario,’ he tells Citywire New Model Adviser.
Griffiths went on to play for football clubs Wigan Athletic and Rochdale. A serious knee injury ended his footballing career sooner than he would have liked, and in 1995 he began a degree in sports science at the University of Manchester.
It was a turning point that, with hindsight, Griffiths is grateful for.
‘In football, there is a natural paranoia about longevity – or a lack of it,’ he says. ‘It’s good for us to [think about] what is around the corner.’
Sports science wasn’t for Griffiths, though, and a few years later he began the process of qualifying as a financial adviser. In 2009, Griffiths launched Pro Sports Wealth Management in Bury, Greater Manchester, targeting clients from the football world. Among them is former Port Vale manager John Rudge.
For Griffiths, having the psyche of a footballer has been invaluable, helping him understand his clients’ relationship with their money.
‘Footballers are like a lot of athletes and people who need focus; they can have certain compulsive traits,’ he says. ‘That drive enables them to be as good as they are and can be constructive, or destructive, to varying degrees.’
Pro Sport Wealth Management has created MyProPlan, a digital advice tool that raises awareness about financial advice and money management among footballers. The key, Griffiths says, is educating them about moderation before they achieve peak success and accumulate excess wealth.
‘Money comes to footballers, certainly at the top level. However, the ones with shorter careers have to make the most while the sun shines and not spend it all,’ he says.
‘The more complex [challenge] is what they do with that excess income and how they build their wealth and protect it as they go forward.’
Griffiths credits his role as a trustee of the Professional Footballers’ Association with keeping him in touch with footballers’ needs, and intends to use the position to keep promoting the benefit of financial advice.”
To find out more about Gareth and the Pro Sport team, click this link to go to [Our team] page.