Asamoah Gyan plans for life after football with airline venture
Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan is set to add an airline to his ever-expanding business empire, and says that the decision is part of a broader plan to avoid the fate of many ex-footballers when he stops playing.
The Kayserispor forward and Black Stars skipper is set to add BabyJet Airlines to his portfolio, which includes a boxing promotion company, a food and beverages operation, and an events business. "From what I have seen in recent years, most retired footballers don't have much after football," Gyan told KweséESPN.
"It is difficult to cope when, after such an engaging career, there is no business to keep you active, pay the bills and generate money," he added. "So I thought hard about it and decided to create businesses that will help me to avoid that situation.
"The business is part of a plan to have something I can rely on after football," the forward continued."Even while I am playing I am benefiting from it. I can't only rely on football because it is a short career."
The 31-year-old is hoping the airline, which is due to take off next year, will become a significant player in the Ghanaian aviation industry.
"For now we want to start small and grow heavily in future," he said. "It is a new venture and I want to go in step by step."
Gyan's plans for an airline were first revealed by Ghana's president Nana Akuffo-Addo, a move that the Ghana's leading goalscorer says highlights just how important footballers can be for the country.
"I had wanted this to be quiet for a while but once the president said it I was happy with the recognition and what it says," he continued.
"Sometimes people think footballers can't do anything significant so I hope this encourages a lot of other players that with proper planning everything is possible."
Gyan's venture into business is a path that many big names in African football have taken after football.
Ex-Ghana international Samuel Kuffour is heavily involved real estate in his homeland, while Didier Drogba is the part owner of Phoenix Rising football club in the USA.
Recently, Nigeria and Leicester City forward Ahmed Musa explained to KweséESPN his decision to open a petrol station in his home town of Kano, with the international already owning a sports complex and leisure centre, and a mini shopping mall.
"It is important to think about life after football," said Musa. "We will not play forever, and the best time to start thinking about that and doing something about it is when you are still playing."