'Millions and millions of debt': James Hird's stunning career change

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter
James Hird has been working as a footballer broker. (Getty Images)

James Hird has found an incredible new pathway into sport after falling into the role of brokering the sale of massive football clubs around the world.

The Bombers great has moved on from AFL and the infamous Bombers’ doping scandal and found a niche in helping an Aussie boot brand and brokering the sale of clubs, in England, Spain and Italy.

One of the clubs included Italian giants Inter Milan.

“One group worked with Suning, a Chinese company and they bought Inter Milan,” Hird told the ABC podcast Santo, Sam and Ed’s 2 on1.

“That was a very small piece of work around that, there were some bigger pieces of work with some English clubs — some of them didn’t go through, one of them did go through.”

Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus FC smiles during the Serie A football match between Juventus FC and SSC Napoli. Juventus FC won 4-3 over SSC Napoli. (Photo by Nicolà Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Hird said being approached to take on the role of brokering sales for giant clubs was surprising, but what was even more surprising was the level of debt some clubs were heaving.

He described some parts of the mega deals as an “absolute soap opera.”

“It’s interesting when you get approached to do something like that. It’s very much, you get wowed by the name of the club,” Hird added.

“But when you look at the economics, they’re in dire straits. These clubs are on the edge, there’s millions and millions of debt, and someone’s going to take that debt out.”

Hird helped broker huge deals

The former Essendon coach went on to explain huge TV rights and owning your own stadium helps makes a successful European club thrive.

The added bonus of being able to afford players such as Cristiano Ronaldo also helps.

Hird also helped foot brand Concave break into the Chinese market.

Shanghai SIPG's Hulk gestures in the match against Urawa Red Diamonds's. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

This was through signing the biggest Brazilian footballer playing in the local league.

Hird said if he could sign one global superstar, it would be French wonderkid and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe.

Hird also said during his coaching days he also shadowed Jose Mourinho during his tenure at Real Madrid, which was an unforgettable experience.