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How football can kick off your finances

The Premier League season kicks off this weekend following a summer of even higher transfer fees and unbelievable weekly wages that are higher than most of us will make in a year.  But behind the lavish lifestyles involving island buying and multiple Ferraris, there are actually a lot of things to learn from football about how to manage your money sensibly.

From moving house to living within your means, here are our top money lessons you can find in many of the trials and tribulations of the average football team.

You need to admit when things aren’t going well

The greatest managers know when things are going wrong. Perhaps Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is the best at this – he’ll switch tactics quickly when his original plan isn’t going so well.

It pays to be a master tactician with money too. Unfortunately, many people aren’t when they get in financial trouble. If your debts are mounting up, then you may need to seek expert advice on what is going wrong with your plan and what you need to do to fix it.

Shop around to get the best deal

Success in football is often about spotting a bargain. Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to shell out for something really expensive when there are cheaper alternatives. Chelsea bought Fernando Torres for a cool £50m and many feel he never justified the price tag. Alternately, Southampton last season brought in unheralded players for relatively low transfer fees and enjoyed a hugely successful season.

The lesson is clear: you need to shop around for the best deal. That often means using price comparison websites which will help you get the cheapest deal on a particular item.

Moving home has hidden costs

Moving house can be stressful – just ask Coventry City whose fortunes have waned since they moved from Highfield Road in 2005 to a purpose-built arena. Arsenal suffered a little with their move from Highbury in 2006 to the Emirates Stadium too – but now that decision is bearing fruit as they emerge as one of the Premier League financial powerhouses.

These examples show that it’s vital to make sure you have considered all the costs of moving home to ensure it ends up benefitting you long term.

Living beyond your means spells trouble

When it comes to borrowing money, there have been plenty of examples of football clubs living beyond their means. One famous example was Leeds United who ‘lived the dream’ at the top end of the Premier League, only to find themselves relegated and in serious financial problems because they had overspent.

If you don’t want to end up like Leeds, make sure you know what you can afford before borrowing money or splashing the cash.

At some point you have to retire

Retirement is a big issue in sport as careers are far shorter in football than in most jobs. But despite the vast rewards on offer in the modern day game, there are still many footballers who end up bankrupt because of poor financial planning.

In your life, you probably won’t be retiring in your 40s but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to think about it as early as possible. It’s vital to think about your pension and how you will save for it

The unexpected can happen to anyone

Ever had an accident at work? For all the glamour and excitement of being a footballer, there is still guarantee of some pretty painful injuries during an average season. Worse still, players are sometimes forced to retire from the game entirely if they are particularly unlucky with an injury.

Many of us may also benefit from income insurance - as a way of protecting ourselves and our families in times of trouble.

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  • Jon P / 28 August 2015

    Lovely ideas...going to use the theme to introduce a module on Finance Education with y10 students thank you

  • Ibrahim / 23 August 2015

    How an average family living hand to mouth could save for contingencies?