The end. And that was that. It had taken me just under 2 hours to read from cover-to-cover the ‘I am The Secret Footballer’ book written by an anonymous pro who having played the game at the highest level, now is determined to declassify all the murky details from the football world.
“It is often said that 95% of what happens in football goes on behind closed doors. Many of these stories I shouldn’t be telling you about. But I will.” Is what ‘the secret footballer’ promises to do on the blurb; and do that he did indeed…with aplomb.
Everything is tackled from raging, corrupt managers, shoddy tactics, depression, suspected homosexual players, in addition to rumbustious fans who act like Iron Mike Tyson whilst in the stands, but on road dare not criticize face-to-face. Even other professionals are shamed up.
Impatient as I am I skipped straight to the chapters which appeal most to those daring and dreamy football lovers who romanticize about one day ‘making it’ and living the archetypal football lifestyle. Can you guess which topics they were?
Yep, that’s right; Women and Money! Aside from corny chat-up lines and the regular flashing of cash, what struck an immediate cord was just how easy it was for our ‘heroes’ of the beautiful game to woo the opposite sex.
Nothing new here. Tales of non-stop fornication, easy come £50-a-night hookers who were used so frequently that they actually became friends with many of their ‘clients’, hotel gangbangs, and the need to have a girl in every town (ready and willing to be a booty call) are aplenty.
YAWN! Heard it all before. What was more shocking was the sheer level and depth to which football finances are squandered. Little compunction is given to this especially when the debate, indeed the perception that footballers are getting paid too much thus squeezing the pockets of recession-hit fans continues to rage.
As a case in point, ‘The Secret Footballer’ and his mates once splashed $130,000 in a Vegas club in a drink-off competition with, quote, ‘a famous Barcelona footballer’. Elsewhere, many players go from club-to-club intentionally making serious dosh off signing-on fees alone. This without even mentioning Agents.
Then there are the insane levels of cash plundered on gambling and betting done of course via third parties. It is no wonder why many players become broke, or worse still, are forced to work some sort of 9-5 job within a decade of retiring from the game.
As I sat there all alone in Regents Street Waterstones I couldn’t help but feel sorry, as well as frustrated that such obscene levels of revenue are lost so easily from the game. Young and already very rich footballers need some level of wealth management education or else this debuchary will continue.
Failing that a view towards retirement planning will not go amiss. Both of course done with a view towards tightening up and ensuring that football finances are kept within football and not whittled away through vicarious activities.