Player Perspective: Keeping up with the Joneses

Shu-Aib Walters Cape Town City
Too many local players are reduced to paupers after receiving bad financial advice and living large during their playing careers


This week's topic is something that has over the years been of great interest to me as I have personally shared and witnessed football players who I played with lose money to bad investments and the lack of financial planning. Sadly, this then results in many of them falling on hard times once they retire from football, or even still during their playing career. This happens a lot more often than people think.

I have many times contemplated joining forces with the relevant parties to implement an initiative with compulsory financial planning and compulsory savings for young footballers. The harsh reality is that most of our players come from very humble backgrounds and being catapulted into fame and fortune can have disastrous results if the right guidance is not provided. On top of that, footballers are often under pressure to live a certain lifestyle as it what is expected and they are under public scrutiny all the time. Being young also makes this so much harder to grasp as when one is young you feel the good times will last forever, not appreciating that football is a short lived career and that it is of paramount importance to have a backup plan.

Player Perspective: On the Road

I was fortunate enough to have an agent that cared about my wellbeing on and off the field, so when it came to financial planning and lifestyle adjustment I was in very capable hands. This is not to say that I was totally clued up, even with this guidance I still made some bad business decisions and lost quite a bit of money over the years. But those experiences taught me valuable lessons that I have carried with me throughout my career.

I have always been passionate about being involved in more than one business venture, no matter how big or small, I'm always willing to take on a new challenge. The only difference is now I'm a lot wiser and more cautious before investing my money, no matter how lucrative it may sound. I am a firm believer that if it sounds too good to be true, it normally is, I speak of experience. I know a few footballers who have lost everything due to the lack of proper financial planning and management and buying into business ventures that fail dismally and then ending up with absolutely nothing. Imagine going from owning several beautiful homes in upmarket suburbs, driving the latest luxury vehicles and wearing designer brand clothing to having nothing. The retired players then have to take jobs earning a minimum basic salary and this has unfortunately been the reality of so many talented footballers that have given us their best football years and have now fallen to the wayside.

I would like to be a pioneer in a PSL initiative that will groom all footballers, especially the young ones into individuals that will have a firm grasp on financial planning and managing their finances to benefit them long term, and to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Till next week!

This column is brought to you by  Lotto Sports Apparel.