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Footballer slams advisers for 'brainwashing' young players

Footballer slams advisers for 'brainwashing' young players

A former footballer has accused some financial advisers of "brainwashing" young footballers.

Danny Murphy, who played for Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham but who is now a Match of the Day pundit, said dissatisfaction about the support offered to footballers on how to handle their money was one of the factors behind recent bids for reform at the players' union, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).

He said the PFA had allowed footballers to fall victim to unscrupulous financial advisers who exploited the fact they were ignorant of financial affairs.

Speaking on TalkSport Mr Murphy said: "Since the TV money got big and players of my generation started retiring, problems have become bigger. Financial issues, lots of bankruptcy, we’ve had the sexual abuse, dementia has become a huge one for older players now and there's more people looking into that, mental health, addiction, all these things now are too much for the PFA to deal with, but they have the funds to expand and help, but they are not helping with legal advice.

"I know personally players struggling with all of the things I've just mentioned: mental health, addiction, financial abuse. You have to remember that we as Premier League players, we were at Premier League clubs, we were not protected by the PFA, not protected by the Premier League, when the IFAs were coming into the football clubs and brainwashing us or manipulating us.

"Young lads with no idea of money or concept of what to do. So now we have got these problems that they can’t deal with.

"Since the TV money got big and players of my generation started retiring, problems have become bigger. "

Figures compiled by XPro in 2013 suggested that three in five Premier League footballers faced bankruptcy within five years of retiring.

An internal battle is currently taking place at the PFA between its chairman Ben Purkiss, who wants to modernise the union so it better meets the needs of footballers, and its chief executive Gordon Taylor who has argued Mr Purkiss may not be eligible to hold his current position.

There have been numerous examples of footballers who have taken their financial advisers to court in recent years over the advice they were given as players.

Last year former England star Alan Shearer took his one-time financial adviser to court along with pension specialist Suffolk Life for £9m in damages.

Premier League goal record holder Mr Shearer claimed Kevin Neal was "careless" and "dishonest" in his management of the Match of The Day pundit’s pension investments, while Suffolk Life failed to abide by its regulatory duties.

The parties involved in the case settled shortly after the hearings began in the High Court.

Meanwhile a group of investors including Premiership footballers has sought redress against Scion Films for losses incurred as a result of investments in film tax schemes.

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