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The Money interview
The Money interview - Newcastle United Manager Alan Pardew

Last season, Alan Pardew, 51, manager of Newcastle United since December 2010, was voted Manager of the Season by the Premier League, and Manager of the Year by the League Managers’ Association.

As the new football season kicked off, we spoke to him about dealing with success and his attitude to money.

Q: Are you a saver or a spender and why?

A bit of both really. It’s important, prudent and sensible to save your money. You will need it in the future, whether to buy a house, a car, pay for a holiday or whatever. But at the same time it’s nice to be able to spend a bit when you need to – but be sensible. I was always brought up to look after my money and that’s the best advice I can offer anyone.

Q: What has been your biggest extravagance?

Probably my house and, a few years ago, my car I’d say, in terms of spending large sums of money. I’m not an extravagant spender and don’t like to see money being wasted. You buy things like watches and nice clothes but I’m always looking for value for money.

Q: I understand you were an apprentice glazer - what did you spend your first pay packet on?

Wow, that was a long time ago! Some new clothes I seem to recall, and some new football boots as well.

Q: When did you know you could make football into a career?

I always had dreams of becoming a professional footballer from a young age, and held those aspirations throughout my school days. It was tough though. I didn’t make it into the professional ranks until my mid 20s, having played non-league football at various teams across London. 

I never stopped believing though and when I did get my big break, at Yeovil and then Crystal Palace, it was an opportunity I was extremely grateful for. I grabbed it with both hands. Coming up the hard way made me appreciate all the more how privileged I was to be a professional footballer. I wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass me by.

Q: How did childhood experiences influence your attitude to money?

I was brought up by my parents to appreciate the value of money, not to waste it and to be grateful for what you had. That upbringing has always stood me in good stead.

Q: What are your key aspirations for the new season?

Last season we did fantastically well to finish in fifth place and with it, earn a place in the Europa League for the 2012/13 season. Given we were fighting for a top four spot right up until the final kick of the season, it was a tremendous achievement by the team and one we’re rightly proud of. 

You can’t live in the past in football though. This coming season is a hugely important one for us. All I’d say is that we aim to build on last season, continue the progress we’re making as a club and see where that takes us.

The competition at the top end of the Premier League is as intense as it’s ever been. Aside from the top four last season, there are sides like Chelsea and Liverpool who will be desperate to finish higher than they did last season. And then teams such as Everton who will be aiming to kick on again. Our challenge is a really tough one, but also one we eagerly look forward to.

Q: How can families find out more about getting involved with their football club?

We have a thriving and vibrant Foundation at Newcastle United which does a tremendous amount of good work in our local community, much of which is with families. For example we do match-fit schemes, healthy eating programmes and family learning to name but three.

Our membership department also does a lot for families in terms of tickets and promotions. You’ll just need to contact them at the club for more information.

Q: Have you learned any difficult lessons about money?

That’s a difficult question. I think the answer would have to be, however much you have – a few pence or a few pounds – treat it with respect.

Q: Are you an impulse buyer or do you plan your purchases?

Well, if I see something nice I might buy it but only if it’s something I need, maybe a £25m centre forward…

Q: How do you look after the future money-wise?

You take financial advice from the experts and take it from there. The importance of looking after your future, and that of your family, cannot be over estimated.

Links to external websites are for information only. Virgin Money receives no income from them and accepts no responsibility for the website content. The information in this article is correct as at 15 August 2012.

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