By George Uglow, Financial Planner at IM Asset Management Limited

It is great to see a finance specialist partnering with the League Managers Association (LMA), “who are the member association for Premier League, English Football League and national team football managers”. Both managers and footballers can be subject to extraordinary spikes in their earnings once they move into the professional game, so there is certainly a requirement for a holistic financial plan to help them manage their finances to ensure they can achieve their objectives, both immediately and longer term.

I would encourage professional footballers, and anyone whose income increases so rapidly, to get into good financial habits early. This would ensure that they begin to build up a diversified portfolio to achieve their longer term goals, whilst also practicing the art of budgeting to maintain their current lifestyle. There are a range of products and tax wrappers available across the market and, for most, there is a lot to comprehend regardless of profession. Having an expert Financial Planner can help you navigate through this, ensuring that suitable recommendations are made and regular reviews are scheduled to ensure the plans remain on track.

To add some context to how a good financial plan can make a difference, Robbie Fowler, former Liverpool striker, now holds a successful property portfolio. However, many other former professionals have found themselves in financial hardship, such as former England goalkeeper David James who was declared bankrupt in the same year as he retired. Current England captain, Harry Kane reportedly earns in excess of £200,000 per week, and that won't include any sponsorship deals he may have signed, so I would strongly advise him, and others in a similar position to him, to act now and secure his financial future.

A financial plan encompasses all aspects of an individual’s finances as well as looking at an individual’s beliefs and risk profile. It outlines the strategy of how to achieve individual’s financial goals, taking into account all aspects of their situation. This could include an investment strategy, retirement or pension planning, tax planning, protection solutions and cashflow analysis.

The use of cashflow modelling is essential as it provides a snapshot of an individual’s current financial circumstances. It will also provide a forecast based on sustainability while taking into account current income/expenditure, the potential for future investment growth and the impact of economic changes such as a rise in inflation. The cashflow analysis is reviewed annually to ensure the financial plan remains on track and is adjusted to factor in any changes in circumstance. It can also be used to ‘stress-test’ someone’s financial situation to ensure the adequacy of a portfolio and pinpoint any potential shortfalls.

The role of a Financial Planner is to help clients achieve their financial goals, but what is also important is educating and providing trustworthy advice and support, so that managers and footballers alike can be well informed and feel reassured and confident in their financial future.

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