Legal back passes, pitches like farmyards, and Norman bite-your-legs Hunter.
Football doesn’t look like it did in the 1970s anymore, and while the game has evolved on the pitch, there have been profound changes off it too.
The end of a playing career once signified a move into one of a few preordained careers, with many players opening local pubs and some recycling back into the system as coaches.
Modern football is very different, and increasingly footballers are finding niches to launch careers as entrepreneurs and businesspeople, with some doing so alongside their playing careers. So, who is generating as much success with their business nous as they did with a ball at their feet?
Axis Stars: Louis Saha
No Arsenal fan likes to write about how impressive a former Tottenham and Manchester United player is, but even I have to admit that Louis Saha was a deadly finisher in his heyday.
Strikers that combine style with substance are a rarity, and Saha has continued that lethal blend off the pitch by launching Axis Stars, a start-up that seeks to bridge the gap between stars and the business world. He is perfect for this article, as he is not only opening up endorsement deals for players, but also facilitating the deepening of ties between the corporate and sporting worlds.
Platinum Capital Investments: Steve Howard
Steve Howard scored over 200 career goals in an illustrious career across the lower leagues, establishing himself as a legend at Luton Town and also taking in a spell at then-sleeping giants Leicester City.
Howard now runs property investment company Platinum Capital Investments, which advises players on how to successfully build their own property portfolio to secure their financial future post-retirement.
AC13: Marlon Harewood
Marlon Harewood was wheels on the pitch, banging in goals as a centre forward at Nottingham Forest and West Ham, so it makes perfect sense that he’s also showing off his wheels off the pitch with the hugely successful bespoke vehicle sales business, AC13 Premier.
Harewood established the business more than a decade ago after having a bad experience with a car deal and feeling he could offer a higher quality service. His hunch was right, and AC13 has become synonymous with some of the biggest names in the footballing world from Harewood’s personal contact book.
PlayerTrader: Julian Joachim
Julian Joachim made his name scoring goals in the midlands for clubs including Leicester City, Coventry City and Aston Villa, but has now turned his attention to helping talented players without a club forge a career in the game.
PlayerTrader is a platform that matches unsigned players with the right clubs for them by putting the player in touch directly with scouts, agents and clubs through the unique platform.
KTM Design: Tyrone Mings
If there is a stereotype of how the modern footballer behaves, Tyron Mings breaks the mould in just about every way imaginable.
His journey to full England international took in spells as a barman and mortgage advisor, but it is his interior design business, KTM Design, set up with childhood friend Katie Thomas, that promises to make him part of UK business furniture for years to come.
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