Former England Striker Michael Owen Plans Soccer Talent Agency

Former England, Liverpool and Real Madrid striker Michael Owen said he plans to start a player agency business when he retires from soccer at the end of the season.

Owen, 33, announced three days ago he’ll quit when a one-year contract with Premier League team Stoke City ends in June. Injuries have hampered Owen during several of the past seasons, including a three-year spell at Manchester United in which he played just 31 league games.

“On July 1 I propose to set up Michael Owen Management Ltd. focusing on guiding young players through their careers and offering them advice at every juncture of what can be a career full of pitfalls,” Owen said in a statement on his website.

The trading market for soccer players is worth more than $2 billion a year, attracting agents hoping to profit from cutting deals. Owen said he’s entering the business after seeing “so many horror stories” during his career and learning “plenty from my own experiences.”

Owen rose to prominence as a 17-year-old with Liverpool, from where he was selected to play for England’s national team a year later in 1998. By the time he played his last international game in 2008, he had scored 40 goals in 89 games, the fifth highest by an England player.

Owen’s talent was recognized globally at the 1998 World Cup. Starting the tournament as a substitute he came on to score a goal within minutes of taking the field against Romania before surging past the Argentina defense to score one of the tournament’s iconic goals.

‘Important Role’

“I feel genuinely excited by the opportunity of guiding some of our best talent through their formative years and beyond,” Owen said of his planned venture. “Having already spoken with a number of people within the game, I get a real sense that they too feel that I can play an important role in helping to nurture talented youngsters into our stars of the future both on and off the pitch.”

Owen said he also plans to focus on a media career that has started to take shape this season with appearances on several television soccer shows. He’ll sign to work with the British Broadcasting Corp. on radio and TV from next season, the Daily Mail reported.

“I have appeared on various channels trying out different roles and gaining experience for a future on TV,” Owen said in his blog. “I am currently in discussions with several broadcasters and hoping to secure a contract for next season and beyond.”

The striker, who also played for Newcastle United, has used part of his soccer wealth on building a successful career in the horse racing industry. In 2007 he established the Manor House Stables training yard, which accommodates more than 100 horses. In 2011 one of his runners, Brown Panther, won a major race at the Royal Ascot meeting.

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