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The Penndulum

The Penndulum

How Finances Affect Football

Liam Molyneux
The Premier League fan fest in Nashvill.

Soccer is a beloved sport worldwide, and many fans are familiar with the complex and strict financial rules within the sport. While it is the most basic financial news fans typically hear in the news, there is actually much more to transfers and contract negotiations. Player wages are usually not in the main headlines when player transfer news comes out despite it being such an important part of the transfer process. With some players making a ridiculous amount of money, it is important to acknowledge what they spend their money on.

It is first important to acknowledge that most soccer players grow up going through a club’s “academy.” An academy is a special school that kids go to from age 6 to whenever they are dropped off or brought up to the youth team. This consists of training all day long with very little and low-level learning; players will learn the basics for their age, but overall, they prioritize soccer. The downside to this style of scouting is that once players are handed large quantities of money, they have no idea how to handle any of it because they not only have been given a lot while growing up in an academy setting but they were never taught how to do important things with their money.

Many players quickly crashed out after obtaining such a large sum of money. Wes Brown, a former Manchester United player, quickly went bankrupt after living an unreasonable lifestyle with the money he got. There is an organization created by Trent Alexander-Arnold that helps players, after they no longer play soccer manage money that was only started recently. Wes Brown has expressed how he wishes he had someone to help him when he had the money he got from playing. Paul Merson, a former Arsenal player, struggled with drinking and drugs while he was getting paid to play soccer. If there were anyone who could guide him, he wouldn’t have fallen down such a bad path.

Some advice from financial officers to any player or person who receives large sums of money are as follows. Your paychecks are only long for a few years at best. Ryan Kwiatkowski, a financial advisor, has said, “If you don’t see it, you won’t spend it, and you can still have a great lifestyle on a fraction of what you earned during a season,” along with this, he says you need to find a way for your paychecks that only come in during the season to last you year-round. Another one of his pieces of advice is to choose a proper place to live. Where you live will change how much you pay in taxes, and that could save you a lot of money.

Anthony Molyneux, a lifelong soccer fan who grew up in Liverpool, England, was asked how the game and the players have changed over the years, and he said, “There are some players who, no matter what money they are making, will give everything for the badge on their shirt. But some are just in it for the money, and it shows.” He also added that he does not believe that smaller clubs will ever have a chance at winning major trophies anymore, which he enjoyed watching just as much as seeing his own team win trophies. When asked about a solution, he said that it wouldn’t hurt to add some sort of salary cap so teams could only spend so much on wages. This would allow players to go to teams they want to go to and not teams they go to because they get paid the most.

The most underlooked aspect of the game of soccer might also be the most important to clubs and players. The aspect of money in the game is what makes teams such as Real Madrid and Manchester City as good as they are. Players demanding higher wages are changing the game more than everyone thinks it is, and there needs to be more attention to the topic.

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About the Contributors
Liam Molyneux, Student Writer
Liam Molyneux, Grade 12. Interests/hobbies include playing lacrosse, watching sports, hanging out with friends, traveling, and going to the beach. Liam plans to attend a four-year college where he will study and major in political science and pursue a law degree. Liam does not know where this will exactly lead him yet, but he hopes to get a job as an immigration lawyer.
Matthew Kriney, Student Writer
Matthew Kriney, Grade 12. Hobbies and Interests include Sports, traveling, working, building, and relaxing. Matthew plans to attend a college TBD and study Finance and Business. After receiving his master's, he has goals of working on Wall Street.

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