LONDON, United Kingdom, June 12 – They may earn more than us, but footballers are struggling to get on the property ladder too.
Last month (May), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain revealed mega-rich Premier League stars are running out of luxury mansions to acquire, scrambling amongst each other for the limited homes available.
And rather than buy, many are forced to spend big sums of money on renting, often paying over the odds.
England hero Harry Kane is believed to be splashing around Ksh1.9 million (£15,000)-a-week for a state-of-the-art pad in London worth Ksh 2.1 billion (£17m), which includes a cinema, spa, pool, gym and sauna.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp rents a home in Formby, Merseyside, from Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers, who is reportedly looking to turf his tenant out this summer.
While former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho spent his entire time at the club cooped up at The Lowry hotel.
The Special One spent 895 days living in the Ksh 112,000 (£870) per night Riverside Suite at the swanky hotel, racking up a bill of Ksh 100 million (£779,000).
Jonathan Handford, managing director of Fine and Country, a company that supply properties regionally and overseas to Premier League stars, confirmed exclusively to SunSport that footballers are currently facing a housing crisis.
“We deal with the top 25 per cent of the market, and there aren’t many houses that are currently for sale,” Hanford, 39, revealed.
“The people that are out there with big budgets are finding there’s a limited choice.
“That’s probably as a result of the uncertainty of Brexit, and people being super cautious and reluctant to sell.
“So now the people that are out there that are buying and have the budget are competing against each other.
“You can find they’re viewing the same properties, the same houses, and there’s a sense of urgency for them to buy across England.”And it used to be the case that it was just Premier League and internationals, but now it’s Championship players who are earning salaries strong enough to warrant buying big, exclusive houses, exacerbating the problem more.”
-Sold to the highest bidder-
If players are buying, many are bidding higher than the asking price with factors like proximity to the training ground or stadium playing a key factor in their decision.
Handford explained: “That’s the natural law of economics. You’ve got more than one party bidding on the same thing, one needs it more than the other, so they will pay whatever it takes to secure it.
“If somebody has got a certain geographical spread where they need to be a certain distance from a place, like a training ground or a stadium, there’s a finite amount of options they’ve got to work with.
“And if lots of people are going for the same things, then it’s going to go to the highest bidder.
“There are tangible examples of footballers who have paid over the odds, and it’s difficult for us because we can’t even disclose to one party who the other party are.
“We need to be able to declare the vendors, but you don’t declare from one buyer to the other who the people are they are in competition with and bidding against. Quite often you’ll find they’ll even know each other!”
-Why rent? –
A career in football is fragile, one minute a player or manager could be in favour at a club, the next they’re shown the door.
Lengths of contracts and belief that they’re going to be at a club for a substantial period influences whether they rent or buy.
“If it’s renting or buying, that’s often driven by the weight or length of someone’s contract,” Handford said.
“If someone’s got a five year contract, and they’re confident they’re going to be there for a while, they’re going to be more likely to buy.
“But if you have an overseas international who’s coming, and it’s their first time in the Premier League, they’re probably not going to dive in with two feet and commit to buying a property straight away.
“The irony is a lot of players who do buy end up moving to another club in another country, and they then rent out their property to another player that comes to this country who could play for a different club.
“So you’ll often find a Liverpool player renting a property from a Manchester United player, for example, which is quite funny.”
When enquiring about properties, footballers’ requests can be quite bizarre, lavish and specific.
Handford revealed what the essentials are, and how a fashionable clients’ deal-breaker may be whether or not there’s a room that can de dedicated to their trainer collection.
“The essentials are a leisure suite and a trainer room,” he laughed.
“They like a gym, so they can do things at home and maintain their fitness. So that includes tennis courts, as well as pools that work well for rehabilitation from injury.
“But you’ll be surprised how many say they want a room dedicated to their trainer collection too.
“Sometimes that can even be a deal-breaker!
“Kitchens are a big one, as well. A lot of footballers have personal chefs that come to their homes and cook for them.
“The vast majority of footballers want a home that is done, they don’t want a massive project, because that’s a distraction and hassle they don’t need.
“If they had a magic wand, in most instances, they would want to move into a place that’s all singing and dancing and tip-top from the off.”