Agent’s fees are becoming a hot topic in football. Fifa have revealed that in 2021 alone, £377.45m ($500m) has been spent on agents fees, with 95.8% of this money coming from european clubs.
Speaking on the issue, Emilio Garcia Silvero (Fifa’s chief legal and compliance officer) said, “at the moment, we have a market that allows $500m to be given to agents but only about $60m is spent on compensation for training players all over the world.
“That makes us uncomfortable. We cannot accept this imbalance. That is one of the key things we could like to change with the agents’ legislation.”
When you think about football agents, there are 3 main names that come to mind. One is Mino Raiola, who has a… rocky relationship with Manchester United and their fans to say the least. The next is Jorge Mendes, who is an agent to many Portugese players, including Cristiano Ronaldo.
The third name is Jonathan Barnett, the chairman and founder of ICM Stellar Sports. In 2019 Jonathan was named the number 1 most powerful sports agent in the world, according to Forbes.
Agents are both very useful in allowing players the freedom to move while also giving them fair representation when clubs propose contracts to players – keeping the player’s best interest in mind. However, they can also create problems.
The most obvious example here is Mino Raiola, and the way he has conducted Paul Pogba at Manchester United. Even from the start, when Pogba was just an academy lad, Raiola dealt with the club in such a way that the Frenchman ended up leaving, and Sir Alex Ferguson said: “There are one or two football agents I simply do not like, and Mino Raiola is one of them,” in his 2015 book.
Fifa plan to propose that payments made to agents should be capped at 3% of a player’s salary and 10% of a player’s transfer fee.
According to the BBC, Mendes, Raiola and Barnett have all vowed to fight these plans, and are preparing for a court battle.
James Kitching, Fifa’s director of football regulatory, says Fifa are “looking at abusive and excessive practices,” where an agent’s payment can be up to 118% of a player’s salary.
Fifa have said they have spoken to a number of agents about their plans to introduce caps on agent fees and that many accept them.
Overall payments to agents have increased slightly from 2020, and actual money spent on transfer fees have reduced by 13.9%