The footballers of the main leagues of Europa they have exorbitant salaries compared to those charged in other professions and even in other sports. Due to how the business works, many of them find themselves making fortunes without even knowing how to manage them and this was the case with Micah Richardswho knew how to be a young promise of Manchester City and this week he told how he lived that stage of his life.
At just 33 years old, the former English player has retired from activity and currently works as a sports commentator. In 2005, he debuted in the light blue shirt and suddenly found himself with more zeros in his bank account than he would have imagined: “Imagine going from £500 a week to £5,000 a week…and then going from £5,000 a week to £50,000 ($61,300 at current prices) a week,” explained in dialogue with The Athletic.
Richards made it clear that at the time he was an 18-year-old with a salary that far exceeded his expenses for basic needs: “I remember a payment package was like 250,000 pounds ($306,000) for a month. I was in training camp, just looking at my pay stub and thinking, ‘Wow. How?'”.
To this, we must add the number of prizes he received for accumulating minutes or those he got when the team qualified for an international competition, passed the round or won a title. It is that he also received those checks even though he was not the owner yet. Faced with this reality and without thinking about it too much, he began to make unnecessary expenses.
“What can you do? I know what I did. I went straight out and bought a Ferrari. I already had a Range Rover and an Aston Martin, but I thought, ‘It’s about time.’ I bought a Ferrari, an F430. Then a 458 Speciale”. Shortly after, he started buying properties: “I bought this seven-bedroom, £3m house and lived with two brothers, two cousins, my best friend. Where I lived was already more than enough, but this is what happens when you are a footballer. It’s always, ‘Who has the best house? Who has the best car? You can never just be happy. You always have to want more.”
Richards, who played some games for the England team, did not skimp on parties, in which he took care of the expenses of his friends and used to pay bills that ranged between USD 24 thousand and USD 36 thousand. But, his extravagance ended after a night of lack of control: “That one was over $150,000 in one night… It was so over the top that we were tipping and just wanted the biggest bottle (of champagne), which was just under $100,000. And it was at that moment that my mentality changed. I had booked to go for a month, but I came home after three weeks and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore. Can’t. I’m going to end up penniless.’”
The former right-back, who spent 10 years at Manchester City and played more than 200 games with the sky-blue team, won two Premier Leagues, including the historic one obtained in 2012 with that goal by Sergio When Agüero in the last minute of the final day. Then, he had a forgettable stint at Fiorentina in Italy and, between 2015 and 2019, he worked at Aston Villa.
According to him, that night changed his life and he began to take care of his money because he warned that he could go bankrupt, as has happened to other athletes throughout history. Currently, he works as a commentator for British television.