“We need to have procedures in place from national level, where SASCOC govern sport in the country, right down to individual federations. I think that we need standardisation with respect to the laws governing the awarding of licenses to managers, to agents, to promoters,” Sport Industry Group South Africa’s managing director James Monteith told CNBC Africa on Friday.
According to Supersport, the sports business produces very high returns but 65 per cent of sportsmen go bankrupt after they quit.
Monteith indicated that the biggest contributor to this may be a player’s lack of life skills and financial knowledge.
“We’ve got to remember that particularly with soccer and sports like boxing, these athletes have started from a very young age – they haven’t been to university, they don’t have the knowledge or the investment know-how to secure their financial future,” he said.
Donne Commins, a managing director and athlete manager at Big Sports Management, believes it’s important that every sports player has a plan.
“Athletes have two retirements in their lives – one when they finish playing their sport and one at retirement age. Some of them just don’t have a plan or they’d have a very bad plan or they don’t stick to the plan. It’s our responsibility to make sure that they have good financial advisers,” she said.
Monteith added that sport governing bodies need to start employing stringent accreditation procedures as well.
“A number of sports governing bodies in this country are quite forward thinking when it comes to issues like the long-term sustainability of their careers once they finish playing. If you take for example rugby, you cannot become a player agent or a player unless you are officially accredited by SARU,” he explained.
“You have to have certain basic training, and I would imagine part of that is life skills and imparting financial knowledge to your athlete. I find it crazy that, for example, rugby and soccer have these policies in place that you cannot be an agent unless you’ve been accredited, whereas other sports don’t.”