From our experience, women and injuries are two of the most important risks for a footballer’s wealth. Injuries lead to incapacity to earn income. Divorce often leads to the loss of a part of the savings. Research has shown that 1 out of 3 football players in England face a divorce within 1 year after their retirement.
Considering that around 60% of the players have financial problems within 5 years, a divorce may be that final push towards bankruptcy. It is difficult to predict what would happen to the football player’s money and savings. It depends on many factors such as the existence of a marriage contract, the applicable law and jurisdiction.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, we always recommend to (i) take a marriage contract, (ii) make sure that the law of the country you are familiar with is chosen as the applicable law for the marriage contract and that the courts familiar with such legal system are competent in case of a dispute and (iii) take legal advice before, and not after, the marriage.
In principle, the main consequences of a divorce depend on the applicable legal system. For example, the Belgian legal system would provide that, in absence of a marriage contract, the football player would lose all assets and savings that he and his partner would have gathered since the day of the marriage. In other countries such as Holland, the football player may lose just half of all his assets and savings (so not only the ones earned since the marriage).
In our book The Bankrupt Footballer – 50 guidelines to take control over the business side of your football career, we explain in further detail the importance of a good marriage contract.