The surprising news that one of the greatest and highest-earning footballers of his generation, John Barnes, had somehow managed to end up bankrupt is superbly deconstructed in a piece looking at players’ incomes and financial cluelessness by former Ireland star Tony Cascarino, as he considers how the likes of even recent Premier League stars like Eric Djemba-Djemba and John Arne Riise have somehow suffered a similar fate despite their massive pay checks.
Cascarino breaks down his own income over his career, concluding he earned £2,314,700 between 1982 and 1999. As he points out that “Sounds like a fortune, but then I deduct costs such as tax and other expenses and the true figure sinks to £980,660 – far less impressive when spread over eighteen years.” In fact, it works out to only £54,481 per year. Now, that isn’t exactly peanuts, but Cascarino points out that most footballers simply have no idea how to run their own affairs, coming into so much money at a young age and with only a brief career that’s over before they’ve realised it.
Cascarino writes that “Players are given little or no financial guidance from their clubs and as young men, quickly find they have more money than they know what to do with. They get sucked into lavish lifestyles and spend proportionately to their incomes.” He looks at gambling and the expensive cost of marriage, lamenting that “Me, I’ve had two divorces and lost £1 million in settlements – not including maintenance. By the end of my child support payments – a minimum of 15 years away – I will have laid out close to £2 million.”
Now, I’m not going to cry myself to sleep for these fortunate rich young men, but perhaps clubs could do a little more to guide their young millionaires on how to manage their money and spare some from genuine personal pain down the line. And as for the agents and other leeches. . .
- Billionaire owner of the New England Revolution Robert Kraft says he would buy an English Premier League club. . . But only if there was a salary cap, as in MLS. I wonder if he’d also insist that his EPL team plays in an ill-fitting American football stadium as well?
- Barclays has reupped as the sponsor of the English Premier League, for a cool $135m over three years. Guess the credit crunch is over.
- Reuters looks at the surge of desire for new stadia by Italian clubs, with “more than 20 Italian clubs planning to build their own arenas or renovate and take over existing ones, many eyeing Italy’s bid for the 2016 European championship,” with increases in revenue of over 50% predicted. The report reveals that “Gate receipts accounted for 12.7 percent of revenues at AC Milan and 13.3 percent at AS Roma in the 2007/08 season, compared with Manchester United’s 39.4 percent.” Will this investment allow Italian to again compete financially with Spain and England’s richest?
- Jim White looks at the surprising firing of Gareth Southgate by Middlesbrough in the context of continue “short-term” thinking criticised by the League Managers Association.
- A couple of months ago we posted about the fight by Wrexham fans to protect their historic Racecourse Ground. They are closing in on their target of 10,500 signatures on a petition to the local council, so please help them get there by signing here.
The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.