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The English Professional Footballers Association (PFA) disputes reports that three out of five former Premier League players go bankrupt within 5 years, as was reported last week. However, Gordon Taylor, PFA Chief Executive and FIFPro Honorary President advises players to plan their careers wisely.


Taylor estimates the number of ex-players going bankrupt is somewhere nearer between 10 and 20 percent. The PFA acknowledges that these numbers are not based on an extensive study but on the organisation’s experiences, however says Taylor, ‘The fact is, as regards to players going bankrupt, it's nothing like those figures (three out of every five) which were quoted'.


Taylor advises players to plan for the future to avoid financial difficulties later on. He told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘Footballers, with very few exceptions, aren't going to earn as much money when they finish playing. We encourage young players to save for the future, for when they retire.’


‘It is about saving, it's about being sensible, it's about being careful, it's about not expecting to have the same lifestyle. It's not everybody that can adapt. That exit strategy is quite important.’


There are many examples. One is that of former Southampton captain Claus Lundekvam, who admitted that he had enormous problems after he quit playing professional football.


Taylor urges players to look to organisations like the PFA before they encounter problems. ‘I have to be careful what I say about agents, but they are there during the good times and they're a bit like butterflies in the bad times. All the players come on to the PFA for advice when things have gone badly wrong.’


FIFPro and all of its member unions advise professional footballers to think about their careers after football while still playing the game. ‘The end of your career is only a bad tackle away’, is a phrase often used to explain young players the importance of a proper education. FIFPro offers professional footballers an opportunity to join the FIFPro Online Academy, to prepare for their second career while still playing football professionally.


Even if ‘only 10 percent’ of the former Premier League players go bankrupt, this means that there are many players coping with serious financial difficulties. All the more reason for players to realize that it is never too early to start thinking about life after football…



Fábio Faria (23) has to end his career
On Monday, Fábio Faria announced the end of his career due to a heart problem. He is only 23 years. Fábio Faria was playing on loan at Rio Ave but has a contract with Benfica until July 1st 2015. Benfica announced it will respect the full contract.


‘Today is a very sad day in my life’, Faria said at a press conference in the office of the Portuguese professional footballers association SJPF. He was accompanied by SJPF President Joaquim Evangelista and Benfica President by Luís Filipe Vieira. In the audience were amongst others his father Chico,  Mario Figueiredo (President of the Portuguese Professional Football League) and Antonio Campos da Silva (President of Rio Ave).


Faria, visibly moved: ‘I finish my career as a footballer. The final exams did not go as well as I had hoped. It is safer to leave football. Life is more important. (…) I want to thank my family, my girlfriend, Benfica, Rio Ave, my manager, the SJPF and the fans for all the support they gave me.’ He added that he liked to stay connected to football. ‘For now I am planning to study Sport Management.’


SJPF President Joaquim Evangelista promised that the Portuguese players union will remain at his side. He also issued a warning: ‘This is not only about Fábio. Often players do not think about the future. A few days ago an English study revealed that many players in England deal with financial problems within a few years after leaving professional football. Regardless of the club the players represent, it is fundamental for all players to plan for the future.’