According to a study by the University of Antwerp (Belgium), conducted by economist Matteo Balliauw, professional Belgian soccer players are not able to handle the money they earn very well. He recently published a study called “The financial situation of professional soccer players”.
Matteo Balliauw based the results of the study on a survey, conducted among 102 professional football players that are active at the highest level of professional soccer in Belgium, the Jupiler Pro League (also known as Eerste Klasse). For this study, players from various teams were approached, in order to obtain a representative picture of the average Belgian professional soccer player. In total, there are about 400 active players at the highest level of soccer in Belgium.
Footwear, Apparel and Food
The answers of the soccer players show that the average monthly salary is 8,670 Euros, but this monthly income does not include bonuses, sponsorship deals or other income. The Belgian soccer players spend 90% of their salary each month, whereby mainly footwear, apparel and food is purchased.
Financial advice from family
For financial advice, most professional Belgian soccer players do not go to a professional financial advisor, but they ask the advice of a family member. About 25% of the players end up in financial trouble, mostly because they spend more money than they earn. Other players end up in financial trouble because of gambling.
Belgium not unique
The results of the “The financial situation of professional soccer players” – study by Matteo Balliauw also show that the financial problems have a negative impact on the sports performance of the soccer players.
The situation of the Belgian soccer players is not unique. Regularly read about athletes in other sports such as basketball, baseball and football, who find themselves in serious financial trouble.
Belgian national soccer team
The national team of Belgium (nickname: The Red Devils) has a prominent position in the world of soccer. They were fourth on the official FIFA World Ranking at the end of 2014. During the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Belgium was eliminated in the quarter finals by Argentina.
(Sources: De Morgen, The financial situation of professional soccer players)