Why Jamal Lewis has a head for numbers during City’s lockdown

Jamal Lewis is putting his time to good use during Norwich City's lockdown 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Jamal Lewis is putting his time to good use during Norwich City's lockdown Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Jamal Lewis has more on his mind that playing Fifa after enrolling on a financial course while Norwich City’s squad wait to see when football can resume due to the global pandemic.

Lewis is one of more than 300 professional athletes from football, cricket and rugby union taking advantage of free online places offered by derivatives trading firm OSTC.

“I did want to set a goal for this period of time, approach something I had on my list to do and use it as a period of time to improve,” he said, in an article published by the Sunday Times. “I’ve always been interested in finance and it was an opportunity that I would probably have taken, even if I wasn’t in quarantine.

“I’m into property at the moment and I’ve always been interested in day trading and stock markets. I wanted to understand it myself.

“I’ve never done trading before – I’m someone who always wants to acquire knowledge before I do something.

“Once it’s finished, I would definitely try to get stuck in, see how it goes, maybe seek some guidance so I’m not going in just by myself.

“If it’s something I enjoy and I’m successful at then it’s definitely an avenue I can use when I’ve retired from football.”

Rob Russell, head of professional qualifications offered by the trading firm’s educational branch, was asked by the Sunday Times whether there is a danger this could encourage gambling among elite athletes, given numerous past cases of footballers encountering issues related to betting.

“Everything is about planning, preparation, execution, and controlling risk, at all times. There is no sense of gambling within what we do as a company,” he said. “We’ve got 24-hour risk departments... If anything, we strengthen the understanding of what money really means to an individual.

“What we’re saying to the athletes is: if you understand the language and behaviours of a trader, the synergies between those behaviours are almost identical.

“What they develop within clubs and their professional careers, all we need to do is put in the knowledge and skill-set to support those behaviours.”

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