And so ends a wild season of the English Premier League. There’s Arsenal going on an amazing run before bottling it in the last games. Or the steady decline of Liverpool from kings of the Premier League and Champions League, to barely getting into the top five.
And just like the drama unfolds on the pitch, all of us occasionally experience drama in our personal finances as well– and not always the good kind! The scramble until payday. Unexpected twists like the arrival of an unexpected bill. Penalties or just-missed opportunities. It turns out, managing a football team and managing your own money have more in common than you’d think.
Given the money being thrown about, it might seem like two different worlds. Take Chelsea, who spent more than £350 million on the transfer market – more than any other team in the history of football. A horrible waste? Maybe, but also a lesson that money doesn’t always buy happiness. After all, they couldn’t buy their way out of losing against Southampton.
And that’s not the only lesson. From setting goals, making plans, budgeting, working as a team, tracking performance, and thinking about the bigger picture, there’s a goldmine of financial know-how for the football fan who knows where to look…
Manage the Budget
It’s essential to know how the size of your transfer pot and to carefully plan spending to maximize results over the season. Take the example of Brighton FC, who have put together a team of talented players on a limited budget, or wheeler-dealer Harry Redknapp, the legend of the transfer window bargain. Proper planning will also help you to avoid spending on non-essentials – as Chelsea did, blowing £106 million on Enzo Fernandez. If you want to start thinking more like Brighton, our budget planner is a good place to start.
Don’t be like Arsenal and bottle the league by failing to prepare for unexpected injuries or tough opponents. When William Saliba was injured, Arsenal didn’t have a backup, which was a key reason for losing the league. In the same way, it’s important to think about how you can adapt your plans to be prepared for your own financial risks, such as losing your job or having your car breakdown. The lesson? Keep your emergency pot topped up by saving regularly.
Working as a Team
For success, it takes teamwork – just look at Man City. Financial planning is about finding perfect teammates, just as Kevin de Bruyne assisted Haaland twice against Man United for the 6-3 loss. Don’t store up financial problems. If you’re struggling, be open with your partner, spouse and trusted people in your life. Look for money guidance or speak to your lenders. It is easier to manage your money if you work together with others.
Checking Your Progress
This season, the top football managers have constantly reviewed how their team is doing to see what’s working and what needs improvement. Man United took the brave decision to let Ronaldo go when he wasn’t performing well, and it’s paid off. In the same way, look at your spending, saving, and financial statements to make sure you’re on track towards your goals. Change tactics if you need to stay on target. This will help you make any needed changes and stay focused.
Planning for the Future
Success doesn’t come overnight. The greatest managers aren’t just thinking about next season – they have a vision for the next three seasons from now, and what cups they want to win. Whether saving up for season tickets or paying off debts, setting goals can provide direction and motivation. But remember: plans need to be realistic and attainable. Tottenham has been trying to win a cup for years without success…which demonstrates that there’s a world of difference between a dream and having a well-worked-out plan.
In the end, not everyone is lucky enough to find a rich prince to boost them up to the top of the league (we’re looking at you, Newcastle). Still, understanding the similarities between managing a football team and managing your money, can really help you to make better decisions regarding your finances. Whether you are a saver that likes to park the bus with your money like Mourinho or go for an all-out attack like Arteta while still being mindful of your money like Pepe, there’s a lot to learn if you know where to look.