Alan Shearer says ‘naive’ young footballers should have wage caps

Alan Shearer debated how to stop sudden stardom going to players’ heads on the podcast.

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has spoken in favour of capping the amount footballers can earn at a young age.

The striker broached the subject on the Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast as he named the best ever teenagers to grace the Premier League, alongside Micah Richards.

Richards, who broke through into the Manchester City side in 2005 at the age or 17, was included in the Top 10.

The Birmingham-born player's career never reached the heights first promised due to a series of injury problems.

The full-back shared his story of becoming a wonderkid and how the rapid wage rise took a toll on his behaviour.

He said: "I went from five grand a week to fifty grand a week at the age of 19.

"I was given a bit too much too soon, you just down tools a little bit.

"So I'm on £2.5 million a year in the late 2000s, so imagine going from 500 quid to five grand a week.

"It was fully deserved at the time because I was an asset.

"I didn't spend money and waste it because I bought loads of property... I went to LA and one night spent £150,000 on drink and having a good time."

It prompted fellow pundit Shearer to muse on what could be done to stop that happening for younger players.

Responding to Richards' story, he said that young footballers could be too "native" to handle money at that age.

He said: "I think that's a genuine problem.

"A lot of footballers come from tough backgrounds, very naive and don't have a clue how to handle money.

"All of a sudden you're on 50 or 100 grand a week, what do people expect is going to happen?

"There should be some sort of plan in place, which I know is almost impossible, to say they'll get that at a later date somehow.

"I know that's difficult as a lot of footballers look after families, agents, friends, whatever it may be."

Podcast host Gary Lineker agreed with Shearer.

Lineker added: "It makes sense, whether it's actually doable or not..."