In today’s game, football agents have become incredibly important.
Often having 10’s of players on their books, their official role is to take care of a player’s economic interests throughout their career and to be the middleman between player and club when it comes to contract and transfer negotiations.
Making or breaking a player’s career, agents have the power to decide if their client signs on the dotted line. Many super agents such as Mino Raiola, Jorge Mendes and Jonathan Barnett have earned over £20m in combined commissions.
However, football agents are not without controversy, often being accused of taking money out of football for seemingly very little work.
They do this in several different ways.
Firstly, the agents get a commission from any contract and transfer agreement. The agents are paid a percentage from the buying club in transfer negotiations for facilitating the deal. The also can ask for a percentage of player wages for a more regular income.
The football player pays their agent a monthly fee to handle all their off-field activities including marketing and sponsorships. In some cases, agents can benefit from third party ownership, in which the agent owns a percentage of the player, and the purchasing club must buy the agent out of his ownership.
However, some countries have banned this practice.
The football agent business is booming.
The 16/17 season saw a 38% increase in fees paid to agents in the Premier League, and that trend also continued in the Championship. Manchester City tops the charts when it comes to commissions paid, paying over £26m to agents, with Chelsea close behind with a £25m payout.
The combined total paid to agents during the 16/17 season was £174,227,243.