PPF report reveals retirement challenges for elite level sportspeople

Featuring Tamsin Tully | 14th February, 2018

The Professional Players Federation (PPF) recently published their initial findings from research conducted into the wellbeing of retired sports professionals. The PPF interviewed 800 former professional rugby, cricket and football players ranging from 17 to 79 years old.

For most players competing at a professional level, retirement poses a very unique set of financial challenges and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the researchers found that:

  • most of those interviewed had to accept a drop in salary once they stopped playing sport
  • just over half (52%) of respondents reported financial difficulties in the five years immediately after stopping playing
  • 90% of players needed to work full time following retirement from sport
  • when asked about a range of factors which impact negatively on their mental health, the largest single driver was financial worries, affecting 21% of the past players
  • only 29% of players were able to choose when they stopped playing professional sport. For the rest, retirement was due to injuries, general wear and tear or being unable to get a contract
  • 50% of the players surveyed felt in control of their lives within two years of finishing their playing careers
  • 78% of those surveyed wished they had taken more financial advice when they were playing sport in order to help with their transition

The findings may seem bleak, however, there are a variety of sources of help for athletes who would like to start preparing for their future. The key, as always, is to start planning early. Your sports union can be a vital source of information and support. You can also take independent advice to help you ensure that your contract is structured in the most tax efficient way and that any businesses you start are correctly set up from the outset.

The BBC has featured the findings of the PPF in its ongoing report, the State of Sport and you can read the full initial findings on the Professional Players Federation website.

For more information on any of the above, please contact me or any of our Professional Sports team.

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