So we’re out there now trying to get the next striker in. At the best of times it’s hard to get a decent number No.9 – never mind when the season has already started.
It’s even more complicated this year. People speak about 700 players being released from Football League clubs over the summer. I’m not really sure where they’ve all gone!
However, I sense the landscape is changing slightly with pro footballers.
One player I spoke to has retired – he’s only 26! With the pandemic and lockdown, lads have had a lot of time to think, contemplate their futures and how that looks for them and their families.
Some have found other incomes. The precarious nature of football, with its one-year contracts, means a lot have gone down the route of working.
I know from our own squad that, over the last 18 months, they’ve picked up jobs. For some, it will be the first time in their life they’ve worked in a ‘normal job.
There is a reality to the situation. We all know a lot of Football League clubs have really struggled through the pandemic. If a club is saying to a full-time player, ‘Look, unless we get some funding or grants, we might not be able to pay you next month’, they’ve got to think about where the next paycheque is coming from.
It’s been a big wake-up call – especially for the older players to think about life after football if they don’t have anything else in the background.
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