How Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini is putting his MBA to good use
Wine may get better with age, but not in the case of professional footballers who may have to consider retirement once their body starts breaking down. While few footballers have a degree as their backup plan, Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has an MBA to fall back on for his post-football career.
Chiellini graduated from the University of Turin with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration cum laude in 2017. His thesis was on “The Business Model of Juventus Football Club in an International Context.”
The 37-year-old also has a bachelor’s degree in economics and commerce from the same university.
Chiellini told the world players’ union FIFPro, via CNN: “We have to encourage more football players to study and increase the number with university degrees. Because life is long.”
He added: “Life will be beautiful after the end of a player’s career. But you have to prepare first or there is a risk you will get to 35-years-old and not know what to do with your life. Only a few players manage to find a job in football.”
Big bucks, short career lifespan
According to the Professional Football Scouts Association (PFSA), the average wage of a Premier League footballer is just over 60,000 pounds a week, which equates to more than three million a year. The Premier League is the top tier of English football.
They note that Premier League footballers are the highest paid, while lower divisions receive much less.
“Championship wages are just over £4,000 a week, which is around £200,000 a year. This is an excellent example of how quickly wages can drop below the Premier League, even though they’re still generous,” they said.
“Players in the bottom division are paid considerably worse than Premier League and even Championship players, earning around £750 per week, which isn’t much higher than the national average.”
Italian Serie A players can earn just as much as Premier League players. The average salary in the Italian Serie A where Chiellini plays is approximately £3.28 million, although the figure is much lesser for players plying their trade in Italy’s lower tiers.
An MBA could open the door to more careers for Giorgio Chiellini
While an MBA helps graduates to earn higher salaries, better position themselves for a promotion or open the door to a wider option of careers, the programme can also equip graduates with a wide set of skills.
Post-graduation, the Tuscan proved he had the negotiating chops in the boardroom to complement his fancy footwork in the field and help Juventus keep its finances in order.
According to Sports Illustrated, the Juventus captain was the main go-between for millionaire teammates like Cristiano Ronaldo and management when the squad agreed to forgo 90 million euros in wages to help the club during the COVID-19 crisis.
The report said the deal allows Juventus to avoid paying four months of wages, or a third of players’ salaries, before closing its fiscal calendar-year on June 30 — a savings made even more crucial since Juventus shares are listed on the Milan stock exchange.
Chiellini’s key achievement was that players would reportedly get back about half of their missed salaries after June 30, or perhaps even more if this season’s Serie A resumes.