It’s a hard life being a millionaire top-level footballer. All you want is for someone to come and fit your new Bang & Olufsen surround sound stereo system, or pick out your new supercar, or book you a window seat at Nobu, but you just can’t get the staff. Fortunately it seems one of their number might just have some degree of gumption: Middlesbrough left back (and budding entrepreneur) Andrew Taylor has set up a website called Platinum Players, which aims to connect the titans of the beautiful game with a select group of companies flogging products to match. As business models go, hooking up luxury goods brands and a load of footballers with much more money than sense sounds like a winner to us…
Taylor apparently plans to send log-in details to all 4,000 professional footballers in the UK, who’ll then be able to get onto the site and access the list of these trusted suppliers. The idea is that they get on for free (which is lucky, because Frank Lampard needs to squirrel away some of that £150,000 he gets a week) but the companies pay to be listed, and for any advertising they run. Since they’ll presumably be champing at the bit to get access to these extremely wealthy young men, this shouldn’t be a tricky sell. Taylor thinks it'll be particularly useful to foreign players who come to the UK (often at a very young age), and don't have a clue what's going on.
Taylor says he spotted the gap in the market when he tried to get a new stereo system fitted last year, and the firm he found on the internet turned out to be useless (which is pretty dumb of them – you’d think they’d bend over backwards to be useful to someone who knows lots of other highly-paid young men). And like many a good entrepreneur, he decided to do something about it rather than stand around in the communal showers moaning. He even has expansion plans: the idea is that if it works for footballers (and he doesn’t lose interest once the new series of Match of the Day starts), he could even roll it out to other high-rolling types.
In the old days, footballers often used to work to supplement their incomes, but the advent of massive TV money means most top-flight players are set up for life. So it’s refreshing to see someone like Taylor (who admittedly may have just had a pay cut, given his team has just been relegated) doing something like this. He told the press that he’s always had an interest in business, and wants to prepare for his life post-football. Good job most footballers don’t have this much common sense, or his business would have no chance.
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