Uncategorised /

Social Media Perils – Brazilian Sent Home

Chelsea’s Kenedy has been dismissed from the club’s pre-season tour for a social media misdemeanour. This is another stark reminder that players cannot afford to mismanage their accounts.

Kenedy Sent Home: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/40714188

There is no going back once you push the button and an error such as this can seriously damage image, commercial appeal and, consequently, future earnings.

I wrote this back in November about the importance of players using social media effectively.

Comment: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/social-media-strikingthebalance-christian-maclaren

Clubs & intermediaries, contact us now for expert social media account management and commercial opportunities for your client.



Events /

LAFA & UMBRO Team Up for Chapecoense UK Fundraiser

On Thursday March 9th 2017, LAFA organised the Chapecoense UK Official Fundraiser at Canning House in Central London. In attendance were diplomatic, sporting, journalistic and business persons from the United Kingdom’s Latin American community and those with an affiliation to the continent.

The event was officially sponsored by iconic British sports brand Umbro.

The Brazilian Deputy Head of Mission, Minister Ana Maria Bierrenbach, spoke of Chapecoense’s meteoric rise and touched upon the long standing sporting relationship enjoyed between Brazil and the UK.

Colombian Ambassador to the UK, Néstor Osorio Londoño, discussed the key role played by Colombia following the air disaster. The Ambassador also praised Atlético Nacional, from Medellin, who were due to play Chapecoense in the Copa Sudamericana final, for their conduct and cooperation following the November crash.

A charity auction, led by Brazilian writer and journalist Fernando Duarte, took place with all funds raised being sent directly to Chapecoense. Items included a limited edition pair of Chapecoense Umbro boots, a Real Madrid signed shirt and a David Beckham signed ball. The auction alone raised over £2,300.

The event garnered significant media attention across Europe and Brazil, with the occasion appearing across an array of press at home and abroad. This included coverage in Globo, Bola VIP, The Daily Mirror and The Sun among others.

To those who have donated so far and to all those who made the 9th of March so special, thank you. Your generosity will make a huge difference to a club and community decimated by tragic loss.

There is still work to do to reach our target and the fundraising effort remains ongoing. If you have a few spare pennies then you can donate at: www.gofundme.com/ChapeUK

Thank you.

Inside The Game /

Inside The Game – Matt Seldon Talks Knee Rehab

Two talking points have dominated the footballing agenda over the Christmas period; fixture congestion and bad tackling. Managers have complained about the lack of turnaround time and referees have dished out cards not just in festive spirit. Over exertion and dangerous tackling pose a serious threat to players’ fitness and well-being.

Matt Seldon, former professional footballer, agent and current Business Development Executive at RKH Sports and Entertainment, shares his experiences of a revolutionary new treatment that has given players the chance of renewing damaged knee cartilage.

What was wrong with me?

As I progressed in my footballing career at Brighton as a schoolboy and then Crawley Town at first team level and eventually the USA on a soccer scholarship, my knee seemed to manage fine. Some of the highlights in my career were scoring for Crawley Town on my debut with my first touch coming off the bench, playing on live national television for Drexel University, Philadelphia (Division 1 Conference) Vs Old Dominion who were the 3rd best ranked team in the USA. I returned to the UK to complete my degree and played for the University of Hull First Team. It was at the latter stages of my time at Hull that the knee pain started and the problems arose. My knee began to lock and seize up and often it was so painful that I couldn’t sleep. The tipping point came when I had graduated and started out on a career as a football agent. At the time I was very active and played football 3 times a week including games on hard astro turf pitches and attended the gym often 6 times a week. I was taking a trip up north to see a footballer and his family. During the journey, my knee locked and I was unable to straighten it for several hours. I had excruciating pain and I had to stop at a motorway junction for hours while my knee settled down. A few weeks later, I was on holiday and my knee would lock for hours on end and I had to stay indoors whilst my knee settled down. I could not be active and my holiday was ruined. It was then that I knew this was a danger to my health and lifestyle and something had to be done.

So, what happened?

I was recommended to see surgeon Jonathan Miles at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in North-West London where I was instructed to have an MRI scan. His investigation showed that part of the locking came from cartilage that was loose in my knee and had actually been stuck in my ACL and knee. This had mainly come about from playing football and gym activity. I was given a variety of options but the best option which could prove most fruitful was a knee cartilage transplant.

At my first appointment I had an MRI scan and that showed that my cartilage had eroded away and that there was no protective layer left to prevent bone scraping on bone. If I chose to do nothing it was highly likely that by my 40th birthday I would have severe arthritis, and not to mention the inconvenience and frustration it would cause me going about my daily activities.

I decided to go for the ‘2 stage’ cartilage transplant as I felt that it gave me a chance of the best outcome. The surgeon had explained that the procedure was successful with only 75% of patients and that only after a year would the surgeon know whether it had been a success. I had the arthroscopy where they removed all of the cartilage that was loose and irritating the knee and causing the locking. The surgeon also took cartilage from the knee where it was not being used and put it into a lab to grow for 6 weeks. The cartilage was then replaced 10 weeks later when the transplant took place. I stayed in hospital for a few days after the operation and returned to have my stitches and plaster removed ten days later. I was icing 6 times a day, and exercising my knee 6 times a day whilst seeing a physio 3 times a week. This procedure needs to be treated as a full-time job and requires dedication and persistence. There are certain sports stars that I think may benefit from this type of procedure perhaps after their career is over. Take Ledley King, the former Tottenham player, who played with no cartilage in his knee for many years and was described by his doctors as superhuman. However, not many players will be as fortunate. Ledley is just one example but I know there are many more similar cases within football and other sportsmen alike.


Argentina’s Sergio Agüero


The first 6 weeks of the operation are most frustrating. You are effectively disabled during this period. The 6 weeks following this you are highly restricted, and then by the 2 month mark you should be fully weight bearing. The key thing to remember during the first 6 weeks is not to put any pressure through the operated leg in case the graft that holds the new cells falls off and you have to start from square one again! Not ideal! The graft is secured by glue and made of fibrin. You almost need to stick a nail under your foot to remind you not to put any pressure through it. I have been able to do some upper body work after my physio sessions but I have had to be very careful that no pressure is applied to my injured right knee. The most frustrating thing is that the surgeon will not be able to tell whether the operation has been a success until a year after the operation. The success rate is only 75% which is not perfect but I am told I am one of the better candidates (32, fit and healthy, non-smoker). All I can do is remain dedicated to the cause with strengthening exercises, continue to ice and keep my fingers crossed. I will know if it has been a success by July 2017, so I will let you know the outcome. Until then it is a case of hard work and praying to the gods!

What I’ve learned

This experience has helped me to re-focus on areas that I perhaps would not have been able to before. For example I have been able to work on my social media accounts, catch up on admin work, prepare for exams and continue writing new blogs. Fingers crossed that at the end of the 12 month period I receive the good news. If the news is positive, then I will have new cartilage which is my own and that should last me for between 15-20 years. Here’s hoping!

For footballers and sportsmen alike affected by chronic knee trouble, a cartilage transplant is a revolutionary treatment. If successful it can change your life for the better. However it requires a lot of dedication, time and persistence. During a players career I do not think that a cartilage transplant would be something most would wish to consider due to the fact you need a year out to rehabilitate and recover. However, post career I believe that players should consider this treatment as it can restructure the natural tissue, eradicate severe arthritis, and enables the professional footballer to participate in normal sporting activities after their football career has finished.

Follow Matt on Twitter: @MSINSURANCE_

Follow Matt on Instagram: msinsurance

Events /

Events – LAFA at Premier Sports Network

Last week we attended Premier Sports Network’s Player Care Seminar. The event brought together key figures and opinion leaders from across the player welfare spectrum. Informative panel sessions covered topics such as life after professional sport and demonstrating financial savvy in your prime. A playing career is a short one.

As the only culturally and linguistically geared lifestyle organisation in attendance, LAFA is setting the new agenda in the player care world.

No two players are the same. Different backgrounds, cultures, habits, family dynamics, languages and faiths mean a one size fits all approach is no longer sufficient.

We treat the individual.

Off The Pitch /

Off The Pitch – #StrikingTheBalance with Social Media

We’re attached, addicted, glued to our smartphones. There’s no doubt. You’re probably reading this on one. Whilst many people view this screen fixation as increasingly socially debilitating, it’s also fair to say that these modern social trends enable digital dialogue, connection and interaction with individuals, businesses and brands that previously may have been tricky to engage with. For these groups this creates opportunity. Footballers are beginning to cotton on the value adding potential locked behind their Twitter and Instagram handles.

In light of this, we are experiencing an increasing demand from our clients who want to leverage their standing in the game and professionalise their social media channels.

From an individual player perspective, having an active and interactive social media portfolio helps to paint you in a more favourable light and indicates a willingness to connect with fans all over the world. This can counter the notion that players are too far removed from reality and that they live in a bubble. From my experience this criticism is, on the whole, unfair.

From a commercial outlook, a clean cut, consistent, well thought through account will stand out to businesses and brands who may want to align themselves with the views and images projected on a specific player’s timeline.

Naturally, working with Latin American players, language is a critical factor when it comes to boosting a player’s profile, image and marketability in the UK. Posting in English becomes essential. By doing so, the player enhances reach, connects to a new audience and demonstrates that they have taken into consideration, to some extent, the varying linguistics of their followers. Serious brownie points.

Done well, it’s great PR. Done badly, you risk putting off potentially lucrative partnerships. Take the Andre Gray episode as an example and consider how this may impact upon his future endorsement and sponsorship prospects.

Off The Pitch /

Off The Pitch – Player Security

The Andy Carroll episode that took place on Wednesday this week is another stark example of the dangers presented by living life in the public eye. For those of you unaware of Carroll’s midweek fright, the West Ham front man was held up by armed motorcyclists whilst in his car on the way home from training. Despite the incident happening just days after Halloween, this was not simply a case of tardy trick-or-treaters, killer clown pranksters or Chadwell Heath highwaymen asking a punter in a Range to roll down his window and bear gifts. This was a calculated and premeditated attack on a household name. Carroll was apprehended behind the wheel at gunpoint and tailed for 20 minutes. Starring down the barrel, Carroll sped off, pedal to the metal, without hesitation and fortunately emerged physically unscathed as he headed back to the sanctuary of The Hammers’ training ground to seek solace.

Let’s be frank, these scenes tend not to be everyday occurrences across the UK. However, over the last few years there has been a spike in the number of elite level players on the receiving end of crime, robberies in particular. To site a recent example, the Cheshire home of Wayne Rooney was targeted during his own testimonial at Old Trafford in August. The fact that circa 75% of the country knows when a player will be away from home by virtue of his team’s kick off time can only present itself as an opportunity for those with a disposition for thievery. Couple this with frequent flashy social media posts and ‘Voila!’ you have a perfect storm.

The wider issue at work here is that professional footballers are vulnerable; their lives are on show behind the Perspex. These guys ball in the same league as Justin B & Kim K, who would inevitably find herself at the ‘bottom’ of it.

In a game eternally subjected to knocks and jibes about how it has lost touch with the real world and is too distant from the ‘man on the street’, we may be about to witness players beefing up security measures at home and out and about. This would be done to protect themselves and their young families. For this they should not be criticised for detaching or disengaging but applauded for recognising the dangers that they face. High profile new arrivals unaware of their new surroundings would be well advised to think about doing so.

Inside The Game /

Inside The Game – Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina & Manchester City)

If you want to know why we do what we do, take a breather and plug in to Graham Hunter’s ‘Big Interview’ with Manchester City’s Argentine full-back, Pablo Zabaleta. Pablo sheds light on just how difficult it can be for young players, particularly from Latin America, to move to Europe in search of their dreams. He touches on sacrifices, homesickness, growing up quickly and the testing nature of adapting to a new culture. It’s a fascinating listen, follow the link to hear it for yourself.