The Full English Accompaniment – How do footballers save their cash?

What’s piqued my interest this week?

A poor posting show on my part this week, as renovating our new property is sucking my spare time. In between sanding, painting, chiselling and sawing I’ve watched a bit of the World Cup. I’m not the greatest football fan. For me players spend far too much time finding ways to practice am-dram collapses to the floor, like a lot of very flustered Victorian ladies.

There is of course a huge amount of skill, time and effort required in the game. For this there is an eye-watering amount of money floating about. The received wisdom is that footballers chuck this away. See George Best’s quote:

I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.

Some definitely do, with 40% going bankrupt as soon as the cheques stop arriving (1).  Keeping up with the Jones’ is one aspect, with a culture for 4x4s and designer wash bags. Others lose it in bad investment schemes or through gambling. A study in 2014 found football players are three times as likely to have a gambling problem than Joe Public (1). Other qualitative studies have examined the reasons; reportedly the excitement of placing big wagers coupled with the boredom of life away from football (2). Claims litter the broadsheets and tabloids of footballers being fleeced through ‘mis-selling’ of investments, losing millions (3, 4). The argument from the footballers is they don’t have time to examine the nature of the investment fully due to their training schedule (1, 3).

The footballers with boardroom balls

The smarter footballers seem to invest their gains wisely. Liverpool, along with other teams, sits it’s new signings down with investment and tax advisers following signatures meeting dotted lines (1). Broadly footballers investments seem to fall into three categories:

  • Bricks and mortar. Robbie Fowler made millions buying a vast property empire, and now runs a ‘Property Academy’ (5). Current England footballer Marcus Rashford is seeking to follow in his footsteps (6). Ramon Vera, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have also done well out of property (7).
  • Riskier investments. Michael Owen dabbles in Crypto, and also has a race horse stables (8).
  • Running companies. Flamini the current standout here, running a biotech called GF Biochemicals (9, 10). Danny Mills works for a private equity firm turning around SMEs (7). Rio Ferdinand has hands in lots of pies, including restaurants, along with Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs (7). Pubs still seem to be a major feature.

What do we learn? Footballers are getting smarter and investing more wisely. The flash-cash culture remains, but for many putting money away is now seen as a norm. Footballers fall foul of the same errors every other investor does. Do you our research chaps/chapesses.

Have a great weekend,

The Shrink

Side Orders


Opinion/ Blogs:

What I’m reading:

Eric – Terry Pratchett – light relief

Religio Medici and Urne-Buriall by Sir Thomas Browne – the theological and psychological reflections of a C17th doctor

Enchiridion by Epictetus – Bedside reading for a bad day


  10. (Google search)

3 thoughts on “The Full English Accompaniment – How do footballers save their cash?

  1. I think it’s very sad how many professional sport persons go bankrupt.

    Footballers who joined the pension scheme pre A day (2006) can draw all their pension at 35. It lead to lots of them blowing it. Since 2011 footballers instead have a DC scheme which they can only access from age 55+. The good thing is that if they go bankrupt it’s protected.

    Unfortunately so many get latched on to by bad dudes. So much of that money ends up in the bank accounts of persons who apparently have their ‘best interests at heart’.

    Liked by 2 people

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