“Players feel that they are not able to show that they need help. But sometimes they do. And we want to build an army of support to help them”

23 December 2020

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Photo: PA Images Sheffield United's Sander Berge (centre) appears dejected after the final whistle during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.

James Chiffi is the founder of Beyond The White Line, a non-profit organisation aiming to support athletes struggling during and after their career.

The organisation wants to deal with the alarming numbers of athletes facing problems with physical and mental well-being, gaps in education, post-career prospects, and ongoing financial well-being.

Chiffi feels that clubs are unequipped to tackle these major problems on their own, or don’t recognise how rife they are.

There is a culture within football whereby athletes feel pressure to appear strong and infallible, so clubs are not aware that a number of players, both in the academy and in their first-team, are desperate to get some help.

Kasper Kronenberg kk@offthepitch.com

According to James Chiffi, the founder of Beyond The White Line, it is no surprise that thousands of players feel left alone with their problems – whether they be mental health challenges, addiction, or financial problems, despite public perception that all players are financially set up and therefore face no issues.

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