There are two staggering stats I’ve come across recently:-

In an article written by Sid Lowe of The Guardian on 16th November 2019 he wrote…

“research suggested that two fifths of footballers were bankrupt within five years and a third had divorced inside a year.”

The article goes on to highlight issues around mental health and the reasons why players experience these downfalls. The article touches upon the darker side of football but for good reason.

I, like you, know that becoming bankrupt and divorce are things we would want to avoid, yet so many players fall into these behaviours.

For these stats to be true, there are certain behaviours and actions the players are taking that are detrimental to their mental health and finances.

But no-one sets out to become bankrupt or divorce!

Logically, it doesn’t make sense!

But us humans rarely make decision based on logic.

We make decisions based on our emotions

A thought, leads to an emotion that leads to a behaviour.

Let me demonstrate…

Think of your favourite holiday destination.

Close your eyes if that helps and imagine everything you see, everything you hear and everything you feel.

Really absorb yourself in that place.

You’ll be feeling lifted, elated, excited, happy and you may break out with a smile.

A thought, led to emotions, led to an action.

When your thoughts are driven by a tough situation you find yourself in, you’ll experience emotions of fear, frustration, possible anger and revenge or even sadness.

From these emotions come actions and it’s these actions that lead to making decisions that are wrong for your mental health, finances and life.

Players like material things like cars, big houses, the flash clothes etc but for what reason?

In the article, the writer compares these behaviours to ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, yet happiness is never created from having external material wealth but it comes from creating your internal self-worth.

But professional football players find it difficult to connect with their self-worth when they are judged on their performance and value on the market.

So what’s the solution to lower the numbers of players going bankrupt and divorcing?

Discover and connect with their inner self-worth!

When a player realises they are a commodity and should maximise their value right now, this gives them a new perspective of what should be valued in their lives.

Players can have all the material wealth in the world and be unhappy because there is something missing. That something is their feeling of self-worth, often seeking solace in spending a large amount of money either gambling or something else.

I urge players to understand this perspective because your career can end in a moment.

I urge players to find a way to accept their true value lies within, and the amount of money, the pressure, the fame, the attention, doesn’t matter when it comes to being happy with yourself.


By Mike Nichols

when the person thrives, the professional thrives

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s