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Why professional football players go bankrupt.

Sadly, this happens all too often as 40% of Former Professional Football Players go Bankrupt After Retirement.


Here Are the Personal Finance Lessons to Takeaway


…This is a story of a professional football player named Jacob Smith.

Jacob possessed immense skill and was highly regarded by his teammates and fans. He had a successful professional football career, playing for several prominent clubs in the country and even representing the national team on a few occasions.

Jacob’s story took a turn for the worse when he encountered financial difficulties after retiring from professional football. Despite earning a substantial income during his playing days, Jacob found himself facing bankruptcy. This unfortunate situation arose primarily because Jacob had not managed his finances wisely during his career.

During his playing days, Jacob enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. He earned a substantial income, with a significant portion of his earnings coming from endorsement deals and sponsorships. However, Jacob failed to prioritise his long-term financial stability and made some poor financial decisions which ultimately led him to go bankrupt after his playing career.


Why did Jacob end up bankrupt?

Why did you end up bankrupt?


Excessive spending

One of the main reasons behind Jacob’s financial troubles was his aggressive spending habits. Like many professional athletes, he succumbed to the allure of an extravagant lifestyle. He indulged in luxury cars, expensive vacations, and lavish parties without considering the long-term consequences of his financial decisions. Jacob fell into the trap of trying to keep up with his wealthy peers and failed to save and invest wisely.

Financial education

Furthermore, Jacob lacked financial education and awareness. He did not prioritise learning about personal finance or seeking professional advice on managing his wealth. As a result, he made poor investment choices and failed to diversify his income streams. Jacob relied solely on his football earnings, leaving himself vulnerable to financial instability once his playing career ended.

Bad financial habits

Like many young footballers, he focused on enjoying his newfound wealth rather than planning for the future. He neglected to set aside a portion of his earnings for savings and investments, which left him vulnerable once his playing career ended. Jacob should have been more proactive in managing his finances, seeking advice from financial professionals, and developing a robust financial plan for his post-football life.

Keeping up with the Joneses

Like many other professional athletes, he felt compelled to match the extravagant lifestyles of his fellow players, buying expensive cars, designer goods, and indulging in other luxury expenses. This behaviour created a cycle of increasing financial obligations that became unsustainable once his income decreased after retirement. Jacob should have been more cautious about lifestyle creep, avoiding unnecessary expenditures and focusing on long-term financial security.


Like many footballers, he was drawn into a culture of excessive gambling, which ultimately took a toll on his finances. The allure of high-stakes bets and the adrenaline rush of gambling led Jacob to make risky decisions that resulted in significant losses. This addiction to gambling drained his savings and pushed him further into financial ruin.

After retiring from football, Jacob found himself in a dire financial situation. His lack of financial management skills and poor decision-making had caught up with him. He faced mounting debts, including unpaid taxes, mortgages, and extravagant credit card bills. Unable to sustain his previous lifestyle without a consistent income, Jacob eventually declared bankruptcy.

What can be done to avoid going bankrupt?

What can be done to avoid going bankrupt?

Looking back, there were several steps Jacob could have taken in his early career to ensure financial stability and avoid going bankrupt after retirement.


  1. Firstly, he should have prioritised financial education and sought advice from financial professionals. Developing a basic understanding of personal finance, investing, and budgeting would have equipped him with the necessary tools to manage his wealth effectively.


  1. Secondly, Jacob should have established a disciplined savings and investment plan early on which includes developing good financial habits. This means regularly saving a portion of his income, and investing in assets that provide long-term financial security. By adopting a disciplined approach to money management, Jacob could have built a solid financial foundation that would have sustained him beyond his playing days.


  1. By consistently setting aside a portion of his earnings and investing wisely, he could have built a solid financial foundation for the future. Understanding the power of compound interest, as exemplified by the story of Jack and Billy in the financial books he could have read, would have emphasised the importance of starting early and being consistent with investments.


  1. In addition, Jacob should have diversified his income sources. While his football earnings were substantial, he could have explored endorsement deals, business ventures, and real estate investments to create additional streams of revenue. Diversification would have provided him with a more stable financial base and reduced the risk of bankruptcy.


  1. Moreover, Jacob should have cultivated a mindset of living within his means and avoiding the temptation to keep up with his fellow players’ extravagant lifestyles. Understanding that material possessions do not guarantee happiness and that financial security is more valuable would have helped him resist the urge to spend recklessly.


  1. Lastly, Jacob should have been aware of the risks associated with gambling and sought professional help if he found himself developing an addiction. Recognising the destructive nature of excessive gambling and seeking support would have protected his financial well-being.


In conclusion, Jacob Thompson’s story serves as a cautionary tale for young football players about the importance of financial management. His lack of financial discipline, excessive spending, and involvement in gambling ultimately led to his bankruptcy after retiring from professional football. By focusing on creating good financial habits early in his career, living within his means, and avoiding destructive vices, Jacob could have secured his financial future and avoided the hardships he faced.

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