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Richards broke into the City team as a teenager and quickly established himself as one of the Premier League's most promising talents.
That switch from academy prospect to first-team regular brought more attention to Richards and he wanted to splash the cash.
Now a popular pundit, the 33-year-old has discussed how he handled that much money at a young age.
"Imagine going from £500 a week to five grand a week,' he told The Athletic. "And then going from five grand a week to 50 grand a week. Then you'd get bonuses, appearance money, a signing-on fee that was spread over the length of the contract.
"I remember one pay packet was like 250 grand for a month. I was at the training ground, just looking at my payslip, thinking, 'Wow. How?'
"What can you do? I know what I did. I went straight out and bought myself a Ferrari.
"I already had a Range Rover and an Aston Martin, but I thought, 'It's time'. I bought myself a Ferrari, an F430. Then a 458 Speciale."
Richards would go on to win the FA Cup and Premier League with City and he also played for England, but injuries stopped him fulfilling his full potential.
He went on to explain part of being a footballer at the elite level was always 'wanting more', which is why he also bought a more expensive house as a youngster.
The former Aston Villa man continued: "I started to look at houses in Hale. I bought this £3 million, seven-bedroom house and I was living with two brothers, two cousins, my best mate. Where I was living was already more than enough, but this is what happens when you're a footballer. It's always, 'Who has the best house? Who has the best car?'. You can never just be content. You've always got to want more."
Last year, he admitted Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer he'd rack up huge bar bills and was given 'too much too soon'.
One evening in Los Angeles changed Richards' entire mindset. He'd spend $100,000 on a single bottle of champagne and realise it isn't a sustainable lifestyle.
Richards added: "That was over $150,000 in a night. It was so over the top and we would be throwing in tips and we just wanted the biggest bottle (of Champagne). It was just short of $100,000.
"And it was at that moment my mindset changed. I'd booked to go for a month, but I came home after three weeks, saying, 'I can't do this anymore. I can't. I'm going to end up with no money."
After that, Richards decided to invest his money in property and his work in retirement isn't out of monetary need.
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