Opinion  

Footballers as funds?

Charlotte Richards

Monday’s football deadline transfer day got me thinking. If only I could invest some of my money in footballers like funds. I’d get a better return, that’s for sure.

Maybe you could invest initially and maybe even receive some dividends through trophies, maybe a little bonus for Champions League qualification?

Let’s take a look a quick look at Monday in investment terms – as much as it pains me as an avid Gooner, I’m going to have to use a Spurs example.

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Annualised over six years, an initial investment of £7m for Bale, you’re looking at a 52 per cent return each year to reach his now current ‘value’ of £84.7m – that’s an overall growth of 1,110 per cent. In more realistic terms, if you were to invest £1,000, then over the same six year period, you’d get back a whopping £12,100.

For Cristiano Ronaldo, an initial investment of £12.24m by Manchester United resulted in a sale of £80m. That’s an annualised return of 37 per cent a year over his six-year tenure – an overall growth of 553.6 per cent. Using the same realistic money as Bale, that wouldn’t have got you as much on £1,000, but still a pretty hefty return of £6,536.

Stepping back in time to 1997 for another prime example of getting some quick money, Arsène Wenger bought Nicolas Anelka from Paris St-Germain for a mere £500,000 and sold just two years later in 1999 for £22.3m. That was a rise of 4,360 per cent over two years. On a more realistic note, that would have got back £44,600 on an initial £1,000 in just two years. Two. Now who says Arsène doesn’t do good business?

Although this might seem like a good bet, these alternative funds would come with heavy risks. For starters they mature early. On average, a footballer’s career lasts just eight years. Although there are some exceptions to this, of course – my footballing hero Thierry Henry started his career in Monaco 19 years ago and is still playing to this day.

You’d then have to find them early, as the investment is not likely to increase much if you jump on the bandwagon. Not to mention the volatility – particularly with Nicolas Anelka, his valuations have been all over the place

Seeing as you can invest in football clubs – Manchester United decided to float on the New York Stock Exchange in Q3 last year – it makes me think if only footballers decided to float themselves on a stock exchange. I’d definitely invest.