Mental health issues, financial uncertainty and chronic health problems are highly prevalent among the country’s retired and transitioned players, according to a study released by Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) today.

The extensive research project had over 160 participants and explored themes such as the players’ health and wellbeing, their financial situation post-retirement and accessibility to education. The findings revealed that:

> 45.2% of players rated their transition as difficult to very difficult;

> 19.5% experienced mental health and wellbeing problems;

> 1 in 5 reported chronic health problems caused by football;

> 18.8% reported that football had negative financial impact on them; and

> 65.7% indicated that football commitments had a negative impact on their ability to study.

PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian said the findings highlighted that the game was failing to equip players with the ability to cope with life post-football.“The report highlights just how difficult transition and retirement is for players and the many challenges that come with it,” said Vivian.

“That 45.2% of past players rated their transition as difficult to very difficult is not acceptable if we are genuine about establishing football as the game of choice for the nation’s top athletes.

“The code has a duty of care to ensure the wellbeing of players and these findings illustrate that this duty of care is not being fulfilled.

“Currently football’s support for its past players and the development and wellbeing programs for current players sit well behind the other major codes and this must be addressed.

“Our ambition is for the report to become the basis for the game’s stakeholders to develop and implement strategies that ensure the wellbeing of players post-football.

“This must be a top priority for the game, as developing football as a genuine career path is essential not only to the wellbeing of the players, but also for the game.”

For media enquiries or a full copy of the report please contact PFA Media and Communications Manager Beau Busch on +61 (0) 432763485 or via