Friday 6 December 2019

Leagues set to examine role of agents in 'dual representation' deals

One of soccer's 'super agents' Mino Raiola. Photo: Jacopo Raule
One of soccer's 'super agents' Mino Raiola. Photo: Jacopo Raule

Sam Dean

The Premier League and the EFL have launched reviews into the regulation of football agents as concerns grow about the rising amount of money being paid to intermediaries who represent players.

The EFL last month wrote to all Championship, League One and League Two clubs asking for observations on the changing relationship between clubs, players and agents following a major reworking of regulations in 2015.

It is understood that clubs are increasingly concerned that agents are pocketing excessive amounts from transfers or negotiations.

There are also worries regarding potential conflicts of interest, with what is known as "dual representation". This is a practice by which an agent can legally act on behalf of both the player and a club, such as Mino Raiola during Paul Pogba's move from Juventus to Manchester United.

It is believed the Premier League's review of the role of agents was initiated by the clubs themselves and includes an analysis of agent regulations in other sports. The reviews will be taken to the Football Association, which has been in control of governing agents since Fifa deregulated the industry in April 2015.

The developments come after it was revealed that Alexis Sanchez's agent would receive more than £10 million as part of the Chilean's proposed move to Manchester United from Arsenal.

The amount paid by English clubs to agents rose by almost 40 per cent to £220m between February 2016 and January 2017. In that period, the Premier League paid £174m to agents, up from £130m in the previous year. Championship clubs, meanwhile, paid £42.4m to agents, an increase of more than 60 per cent.

As of April 2015, intermediaries in the UK have not been required to take any exams to become registered with the FA. Since then, the number of agents registered with the governing body has more than tripled to over 1,800.

In the letter sent to all of its clubs, the EFL wrote: "We are seeing an increase in wider relationships between clubs and intermediaries, outside traditional ownership/investment models, which could raise issues around conflict of interest." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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