Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
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Football’s loss is accountancy’s gain

A number of the nation’s footballers have been pursuing accountancy qualifications while kicking their heels during the coronavirus lay-off, according to the AAT.

30th Apr 2020
Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
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Footballers turn to accountancy during layoff
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Among the players studying for an accountancy technician qualification are England and Arsenal centre-back Leah Williamson.

After finishing fourth in last year’s World Cup, she started studying for her accountancy qualification and now has more time to study for an alternative career for when she has to give up football. 

Players in both the men’s and women’s leagues have been following her example, the AAT reports. Aberdeen striker Sam Cosgrove found the net 11 times in 21 Scottish Premiership appearances last season while also working towards his qualification.

“I started my studies mainly as a back-up plan, in case my aspirations of being a footballer should ever fail,” he said.

Accounting opened up a wide area of potential jobs beyond football, he continued. “The most rewarding part is knowing that I am using my spare time productively, in order to gain new and important skills within accountancy.”

Capped finance manager

Hereford attacker Reece Styche is further along the road to his qualification and now combines a full-time job as accounts assistant at fire equipment manufacturer Safety Technology International with a part-time playing career.

Since taking the job he played for Tamworth, Darlington and Alfreton before transferring to Hereford. 

“I enjoy everything about my job,” said Styche. “It has given me a solid foundation, and I get involved in every aspect of the finance department. I was also able to gain a pay rise when I completed my AAT studies and became a MAAT (member of AAT). 

“That, in turn, allows me to continue playing football both locally and internationally – I have five caps for Gibraltar and am hoping to build on that total.” 

Cambridge trained

In the AAT league, Rebecca Fay is the senior professional in this hybrid community. AAT Apprentice of the Year in 2017, she also captains Cambridge City Ladies.

“I spent two years with Cambridge United before returning to Cambridge City for the start of the 2016/17 season.” 

In parallel to her sporting career Fay started an apprenticeship with a property investment firm and then transferred to the Cambridge branch of Streets Chartered Accountants to complete her AAT professional diploma. She is now working towards an ACCA qualification and is two exams away from becoming a chartered accountant.  

The apprenticeship route meant she could learn valuable skills in the workplace while still playing for her local club.

“Having my accountancy career is something I can work in alongside my football, and it will still be there when I retire from playing,” she said.

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