In Summary
  • When even international stars like former England goalkeeper David James are declared bankrupt it should make young footballers, suddenly flush with mind-boggling riches, sit up and take notice of the perils that lie ahead.
  • James, who won 53 caps for England and lifted the 2008 FA Cup with Portsmouth earning an estimated £20million (23.2m euros, $26m) during his career, is an example Peter Fairchild of London city firm Smith&Williamson likes to use.
  • He and his colleagues make presentations to young players about planning for their finances for the day they retire.

LONDON

When even international stars like former England goalkeeper David James are declared bankrupt it should make young footballers, suddenly flush with mind-boggling riches, sit up and take notice of the perils that lie ahead.

James, who won 53 caps for England and lifted the 2008 FA Cup with Portsmouth earning an estimated £20million (23.2m euros, $26m) during his career, is an example Peter Fairchild of London city firm Smith&Williamson likes to use.

He and his colleagues make presentations to young players about planning for their finances for the day they retire.

Fairchild told AFP that the clubs, beginning with Liverpool in 2012, had warmed to their ideas.

"We (the clubs said) want to grab their attention and shock the boys," said Fairchild after AFP was given rare access to a session with second-tier side Queens Park Rangers at their training ground west of London.

"So for once they have to get off their mobile phones and social media and take note of what people are saying because there is a long term benefit for their lives and it affects them.

"'Use some real life case studies', they told us.

"Quite often the guys have their heroes on the screen and when they see them they go: 'They are bankrupt? They can't be'.

"To which I reply it is the case and please, please take heed. Don't fall into the traps they did and seek advice so you get it right from the start."

According to XPro, which helps players plan for their lives after they hang up their boots, two in five footballers go bankrupt within five years of retirement.

"It is a great shock when you see the big names like David James," Under-23 central defender Alex Finney told AFP.

"I mean they were the top 1 percent of people who made it in football, it is a scary thought that people like them can have nothing at the end of it.

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