Footballer reveals limitations of his financial adviser

Footballer reveals limitations of his financial adviser

A former international footballer said while the financial adviser he used during his playing career was efficient, such services are of limited value to sports stars.

Simon Church played for Championship football league club Reading and in the semi-finals of the 2016 European Championships semi-finals for Wales, before having to retire from professional football at the age of 29 in May.

Mr Church said he used a financial adviser throughout his career, as did many of his teammates, but said the service provided was of  “limited value” because of the unique circumstances of a sportsman’s career.

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He said: “Footballers generally aim to play until they are 35. Throughout my career I used an adviser and they were useful, but there is only so much they can advise on.

"They set up a pension but you can’t use that until later in life, so if you retire from football at 35 there are bills to pay for a lot of years and I retired at 29.”

He said that throughout his career he made full use of his Isa allowances and this aspect of his finances was always handled by his adviser.

Mr Church said: “As a footballer you live in a bubble, where you are told what to eat and when. Everything is taken care of for you but the second you finish playing all of that disappears.”

Alongside that Mr Church began investing in property, and since his retirement from football in May has developed this passion to become an arranger on property investments for others, introducing financiers and developers to each other. He expects many of his clients to be professional athletes, but also said he has had interest expressed in his venture from family offices.

Mr Church's entrance to the financial services industry and comments come after a string of famous footballers have sought damages from their intermediaries.

Earlier this year football manager Walter Smith called off his bid to win damages from his former financial advisers.

He sued his advisers for £320,000 over investments made during his time as an English Premier League boss.

The case was due to be heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh last month but didn’t go ahead.

It is not known whether Mr Smith and the advisers settled out of court but a source confirmed the case was “not proceeding”.

Last year former England football star Alan Shearer agreed a settlement after claiming he was given “negligent” financial advice and launching a £9m High Court damages claim.

Mr Shearer, 46, sued financial adviser Kevin Neal and pension specialist Suffolk Life.

After just one day at the High Court in London, a lawyer representing Mr Shearer told the judge an agreement had been reached between the star, Mr Neal and Suffolk Life. 

Barrister Gerard McMeel said the terms of the agreement were confidential.

Lawyers indicated that the case centred on a Shearer pension worth around £4m.