Sunday 25 August 2019

Reds paid £43m in agent fees

Their pre-tax profits soared to £125m in the last financial year (stock photo)
Their pre-tax profits soared to £125m in the last financial year (stock photo)

Tom Morgan

Liverpool are by far the biggest spenders on player agents, according to official figures that show intermediaries last year creamed off over £250 million from Premier League transfers.

The Merseyside club - who spent £170.5m on summer transfers alone - paid £43.8m on agents over 12 months, a 63pc increase on the £26.8m the previous year. Chelsea were a distant second, having spent £26.8m, with Manchester City in third on £24.1m. Tottenham spent more than £11m on fees, despite not making any major signings.

Details of the eye-watering figures were published by the English FA just four days before the deadline closes on a consultation surrounding a proposed clampdown on the work of third-parties. The FA has drafted proposals to support plans for agents to tell players about all offers within 24 hours and to be more transparent in their bank dealings.

The Premier League is also planning to bring in tougher regulation, including the capping of earnings on deals, as the 20 shareholders meet today. New rules will bring the end of dual representation on a deal - when an agent is paid by both selling and buying club - and limit the amount agents can earn. There are no set limits yet.

The Emiliano Sala tragedy has again brought the work of third-party dealmakers into the spotlight, but the Argentine's transfer from Nantes to Cardiff was not in the FA documents published yesterday.

The previous agents' fees list published in April last year revealed that Premier League clubs had spent £211m between February 2017 and the end of January 2018. This year's figures show, in the year to January 2019, fees had risen to £260.6m - £311m including all four divisions.

Fifa has been working with the Premier League and the FA to come up with an international framework for regulating what has come to be thought of at times as out of control.

The changes are expected to come into force in time for the start of next season. The massive agents fees will do little to damage Liverpool's coffers, however. Their pre-tax profits soared to £125m in the last financial year.

© Daily Telegraph, London

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