By 90Min
August 26, 2019

Former England goalkeeper David James is one of several people to join forces with UEFA to create a new scheme to help players stay in control of their finances.

With players earning so much money, the temptation is always there for some to start spending unsustainable amounts. James found himself in such a situation in 2014, when he was forced to declare bankruptcy.

To try and help players avoid that situation, UEFA have partnered up with Santander to create the UEFA Financial Management Training course, which will strive to teach current players the basics of financial management, as well as to give them the tools to prepare for the future.

Having turned out for the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, James earned plenty of money during his career, but still found himself unable to avoid falling into financial turmoil. However, he has now urged younger players to think about the future.

 "Not being an expert in finance, the difficulty is you listen to something and think it's going to be right. It sounds so good and you get involved and then it doesn't work out. As the saying goes, if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't true," said James.

"There's a standard number and the more money there is in football, the higher that standard number will get. We know that's not the case. My advice, and something I've learned later on in life, is that if someone gives you a contract or a deal, read it. Even if you don't understand it, at least get some knowledge of what you're about to do.

"Then go to someone with the expertise to actually go through it properly. Too often it's a mate, a friend or a relative, who says: 'Do this', 'Do that'. You trust them, you do it and it doesn't work out. If in doubt – which should always be the case if you're not an expert – get someone who knows the right answer.

Robert Hradil/GettyImages

"This sounds like a cliche, but you actually never know when your career is going to finish. I was advised as a youngster by a senior player who said: 'Every time you sign a contract, you're playing for another contract'.

"These opportunities are there. Football is a massive industry with lots of opportunities. It's slightly contradictory but if you only focus on football, then you miss out on a lot of opportunities to develop in other areas."

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