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The 2018 window of opportunity….what is the real view?

The 2018 window of opportunity….what is the real view?

So the New Year has begun and many of us across the country will be using this as an opportunity to make certain changes.  For some of us we use this as a time to reflect a little on the past and hope that the next 12 months are going to either be the same, or better.  This depends, of course, on how the previous year went! For others, it can be a time of uncertainty and one filled with potentially stressful moments.

It is generally considered that the most stressful times that we experience during our lives include:

1) Changing jobs

2) Moving house

3) Relationship breakdowns

Whilst we have all encountered change throughout our lifetimes, some experience more than others.  As an example, there will be many professional footballers during the January transfer window who will be unsure of:

  • Their next employers
  • Their new teammates
  • New training methods
  • Where they will be living
  • How they will adapt within a new environment and also…
  • How their families will cope with changes to their circumstances.

I am sure you will agree there is an awful lot to consider.

When making such decisions, there are many things to be considered which hundreds of professional sportspeople face every year.  It is very rare in today’s climate that we see professional footballers being a one-club player and therefore, this cycle of uncertainty is repeated during each transfer window.

On the other hand, there will be a sense of obligation from the new employer that the ‘show must go on’, and that such changes shouldn’t have an adverse effect on their job and the performance of the club.  After all, the game that we love is a results business and taking into account the transfer fees (which the players have no influence over), the club, spectators, sports pundits and teammates will all want to see players hit the ground running and justifying their place in the team…easier said than done.

Clearly, we have choices and to a certain extent, we can control our own destiny. However, would you be happy working hard every single day but are then unable to do the job you get paid for? What if you needed to move your family 300 miles to seek employment?  What if at that point things didn’t work out and you had to move again?  Whilst those in varying roles will be used to and perhaps enjoy this, it wouldn’t be high on my list of desirable job descriptions.

Such moves alone can be very costly.  As an example, a client moved clubs during the 2016/17 season and settled in very quickly.  In doing so, they thought about buying a home and after reviewing their options, we agreed that he should continue to rent.  Fast forward 9 months, a new manager with new ideas and no longer are they deemed an important part of the team.  Therefore, they have since moved on.  Had they purchased the property they had in mind, they would have paid over £110,000 in Stamp Duty and legal fees! I am certain that many players have in the past fallen foul (no pun intended) of this tax trap.

Thankfully, this time of uncertainly does come to an end, as once January is over, stability can then resume….until the summer transfer window opens, that is.

Thank you for taking the time to read my Blog and may I wish you a Happy New Year.

Festive Fixtures and the Christmas Crunch

Festive Fixtures and the Christmas Crunch

I must say I do enjoy this lead up to the Christmas Festivities.  As the Christmas song goes, ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’.

From a personal perspective, I enjoy the break.  It’s a chance to recharge my batteries and mentally switch off.  Most of all, I take great pleasure in spending time with my loved ones, in particular the excitement of seeing my children go to bed on Christmas Eve, waking up early on Christmas Day to see what Santa has brought them.  Needless to say, like most people, I then over indulge in all the festive foods.

Unfortunately, not everyone can share the same benefits. Across the nation people in all walks of life work throughout this joyous time, namely emergency services who are essential to help protect us and keep us safe. However, I would also extend this to professional sportspeople, in particular footballers, whose lives are dictated by their job.

Whilst many of us will be waking up to Christmas songs, there will no doubt be a number of clubs across the country that will be working to ensure they are best prepared for the already hectic schedule of games.  In preparation, they will invariably have their strict diets to adhere to, guidance of what to eat and when to eat it.

Some will also be travelling and stopping over in hotels, having to spend their Christmas’s with their workmates. I wonder how many of us would choose to spend the Christmas period with people with whom we work?  As much as I enjoy the company of my work colleagues, I would much prefer to spend time with my loved ones and in the comfort of my own home which  is a sentiment  I hope you would agree with.

It is natural to assume that all footballers’ have lavish lifestyles, but not all play their trade at the top of the pyramid.  Lower down in the football league the hotels aren’t as good, the food not much better and the distances travelled on the ‘not so executive coaches’ can be onerous.

Whilst this may be the norm for the ‘seasoned pro’, for the younger professionals this can be somewhat daunting and isolating. But given that they are deemed to be living this ‘perfect’ life this can in itself be detrimental to their own mental health.  This in its own right is a much more serious and wider subject.

Don’t get me wrong I would certainly like to have their disposable income to buy presents for my children, but spending uninterrupted time with my family is priceless, as is my own health and mental well-being.

Thank you for taking the time for reading and may I take this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas, or not so Merry if you are working over the festive period.


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