Former Coventry City defender Stuart Pearce has said that the game has changed a lot from when he was a professional footballer but worked as an electrician to bump up his money.
In an excellent interview with the Nottingham Post, Pearce says: "I think the pro game has changed. I have worked with players between the age of 17 and 22 in the job I have just done for six years.
"I have seen it first hand. I have seen a lot of players fall into a black hole.
"The opulence of it all. they are given too much too soon. It is a fantastic time to be a professional footballer, make no mistake. But I always enjoyed – and as human beings, most of us feel the same – earning my money, to get paid for my hard work, for what I achieved.
"Now it has been turned on its head. Now you get paid up front, on the proviso that you might deliver at some point in the future.
"I am afraid we lose a lot of kids; the kids who do not have the real drive in them, to soldier on and push themselves.
"We lose them. I can name you a multitude of players who have not gone on to achieve their full potential because, maybe, we have taken that hunger out of their bellies.
"I would equate that directly with boxers, with fighters who come out of slums with a real hunger and drive. They get a couple of million quid in their pockets and that hunger diminishes.
"It is the same for players. They can lose that drive when they think they have made it, when they have that money."
Full interview: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Nottingham-Forest-legend-Stuart-Pearce-fears/story-20166982-detail/story.html#ixzz2lSocAfVf
Source: Coventry MAD