Why do so many footballers go bankrupt, and how can you prevent it from happening to you?

Why do so many footballers go bankrupt, and how can you prevent it from happening to you?

With all the money flowing in the modern game, it seems almost impossible that any professional footballer would ever have to declare bankruptcy.

Yet sadly, there are many high-profile cases in the news of former players admitting that the money has run out and they are insolvent.

It’s always a shock when a player comes out and says they are declaring bankruptcy, especially when it’s someone who played the majority of their career at the very top level of the sport.

Knowing that it can happen to these players can be worrying, as it shows that it can happen to anyone, no matter how successful you are. As a result, you may be wondering whether there’s anything you can do to carefully organise your wealth and improve your chances of avoiding it entirely.

So, find out about a few reasons why footballers can end up bankrupt, and how you can organise your wealth to prevent it from happening to you.

You may be financially vulnerable, despite your wages

A strange irony of the healthy wages you can earn from a football career is that this can also make you somewhat financially vulnerable. As a result, this can put you at higher risk of bankruptcy.

For many players, this is because they think that the money will never run out. Early on in your career when you first start earning professional wages, it’s understandably easy to think that the money tap will never turn off.

You might end up living a lifestyle you can’t actually afford, perhaps buying expensive property or luxuries such as sports cars with your newfound wealth.

However, if you suffer persistent injuries that lead to your career ending prematurely, or you find yourself without a club for a season, you might suddenly struggle to meet your financial obligations.

Meanwhile, it might lead you to improperly prepare for life after football, only realising your mistake when you go to hang up your boots and the money is gone.

Outside of mistakes you might make, other people might try to exploit this financial vulnerability, too, as your wealth can make you a target for unscrupulous firms and individuals.

You might find yourself approached by financial experts offering high-risk investment schemes, which could easily cost you your money if they don’t work out as advertised. Some of these schemes could even be entirely fraudulent, involving individuals who are deliberately trying to scam you out of your earnings.

This could also be pressure from friends and family. Even if they have the best intentions, knowing that you have the means to help can lead friends and family to pressure you into sharing your wealth.

While you might be able to afford it in the short term, giving in to multiple requests from those around you can lead you to quickly find that you’re unable to afford your lifestyle.

3 simple ways to protect your wealth, both now and for the future

Having to balance these pressures with a busy playing career can be difficult. Fortunately, you have plenty of options to aid you in doing so.

These three simple methods could help you organise your wealth, so that you can improve your chances of being financially secure and avoiding bankruptcy in future.

1. Prepare for your future, no matter where you are in your career

A mistake many footballers can make is not thinking about what happens after their career ends.

The truth is that a playing career will last perhaps 15 years, maybe 20 if you can stay fit throughout. And, while you will likely have a second career, your peak earnings potential may well be during your playing days.

So, it’s important to prepare for your future, whether you’re a teenager on your first pro contract, or a seasoned veteran looking to retire imminently.

You may want to consider:

  • Setting money aside each month to act as an emergency fund
  • Carefully investing a portion of your wealth for the future
  • Ensuring your money is as tax-efficient as possible
  • Looking at protection options in case of illness and injury.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it may make a good starting point for the sorts of things you can do to prepare for later life.

The sooner you start planning for the future, the better placed you may be to be financially stable for the long term.

2. Enjoy your money – but be sensible

While many footballers play professionally for the love of the sport, it’s no secret that the wages make it an attractive and lucrative way to earn money.

It’s absolutely your right to enjoy that money and live the type of lifestyle you really want – after all, you’ve earned it. But that said, it’s important to be sensible, especially when you’re young.

Whether that means tempering your desire to own as many supercars as you can afford, or being careful when giving money to friends and family, try to avoid the pitfalls that have affected other players by being sensible with the wealth you have.

3. Work with a financial adviser

Perhaps the most powerful thing you can do is work with a financial adviser.

At ProSport, we have years of experience helping professional footballers to carefully manage their wealth, so that they remain financially secure and stable.

We’ll help you organise your wealth so that you’re able to live your desired lifestyle, both now and in future.

If you’d like support from a financial expert, email enquiries@prosportwealth.co.uk or call 01204 602909 to find out what we can do for you.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax planning.