Micah Richards has warned of the dangers of having too much too young after revealing how he would splurge his cash on cars and booze when he was on £250,000 a month at Manchester City.
In an interview with The Athletic, the former City and Villa defender turned pundit and Sportsmail columnist said he ‘went straight out and bought myself a Ferrari’ when he started earning big money at the Etihad Stadium.
Richards signed his first professional contract in 2005, when he was just 17, after rising through the youth ranks at City.
The now 33-year-old, a familiar face on Sky Sports, the BBC and CBS, admitted he found the transition from young prodigy to millionaire difficult and would often blow his cash after being paid by his club.
‘Imagine going from £500 a week to five grand a week,’ he said. ‘And then going from five grand a week to 50 grand a week. Then you’d get bonuses, appearance money, a signing-on fee that was spread over the length of the contract.
‘I remember one pay packet was like 250 grand for a month. I was at the training ground, just looking at my payslip, thinking, “Wow. How?”
‘What can you do? I know what I did. I went straight out and bought myself a Ferrari.
‘I already had a Range Rover and an Aston Martin, but I thought, ‘It’s time’. I bought myself a Ferrari, an F430. Then a 458 Speciale.
‘And I started to look at houses in Hale. I bought this £3 million, seven-bedroom house and I was living with two brothers, two cousins, my best mate. Where I was living was already more than enough, but this is what happens when you’re a footballer. It’s always, ‘Who has the best house? Who has the best car?’. You can never just be content. You’ve always got to want more.’
Richards detailed how, on one lavish night in Los Angeles, he racked up expensive champagne bills while partying with friends. He also said he would often spend between £20,000 and £30,000 when in Manchester or London.
‘That was over $150,000 in a night,’ he said. ‘It was so over the top and we would be throwing in tips and we just wanted the biggest bottle (of Champagne). It was just short of $100,000.
‘And it was at that moment my mindset changed. I’d booked to go for a month, but I came home after three weeks, saying, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I can’t. I’m going to end up with no money’.