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Football Agents - What do they do?

Discussion in 'Spurs News & Views' started by El Guepardo, 18 Jan 2022.

  1. El Guepardo

    El Guepardo Christian Ziege

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    20+ years ago when I was planning my future career, I wish that I’d decided to be one a football agent.

    On the face of it, they don’t do a lot and yet get paid crazy money. I mean let’s say Spurs want Vlahovic, approach Fiorentina and agree a fee, we then agree salary with Vlahovic. What does the agent do in all this time? It’s not like the deal couldn’t happen without an agent, and yet, the agent for the deal will ask for a crazy sum of money.

    I’m assuming that they check contractual details. They probably have lawyers employed to do this but fair enough. What else do they do?
     
  2. glasgowspur

    glasgowspur Les Ferdinand

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    They don't drink, don't smoke and subtle innuendos follow them around.






    You've put that brick in my head, so I'm sharing it.


    I've had to go back to @Gutter Boy heroes post to cleanse myself.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2022
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  3. Gutter Boy

    Gutter Boy Tim Sherwood

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    Same as estate agents and travel agents. Pretty pointless parasitic roles that earn eyewatering commissions. Paul Scholes had it right.
     
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  4. Baleforce

    Baleforce Steve Archibald

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    Most professional footballers are young men with very little life experience, they need somebody who knows what's really on offer, and how the system works. I'm sure most of them take advantage of that system where they can, but without agents clubs would take advantage of the players.

    There is no virtue in professional sport. If agents went away, the money they were earning wouldn't lead to lower rights deals or ticket prices, it wouldn't increase player salaries either.
     
  5. johnola

    johnola Sergei Rebrov

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    Might I add recruitment consultants. Know nothing scrotes.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2022
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  6. Finney Is Back

    Finney Is Back Ian Walker

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    I can answer what my Dad used to do on top of just negotiating his player's wage for them upon transfer or contract renegotiation (for which he never really made a penny from).

    Sort out pretty much every single admin aspect of the player's lives.... Insurance, passports, mortgages, pensions, investments, driving licenses, utilities, bills to be paid, etc, etc.
    Reach out to, negotiate and agree terms with external sponsors (sportswear, luxury brands, motor companies, etc).
    Manage the player's diary for outside club commitments (everything from guest appearances to booking driving lessons).
    Keep in contact with clubs and other agents re: needs and wants of various clubs across the country and, indeed, all over europe and beyond.
    Deal with the police and CPS for potential prosecutions and often foot any legal fees (yes this was a thing that happened sometimes).
    Maintain good contacts in the press to get the right stories in there at the right times for their players.
    Find new clubs for players who are being/have been released.
    Sort out paperwork and find clubs to help them go through coaching badges.
    Sort out guest tickets for players' family and friends at matches.

    If I asked my Dad he would probably tell me literally tens of other things that he used to do for the players he represented. Remember for every player represented at the top end where the agent makes a lot of money, the agent is likely to represent tens of players at the bottom end of the scale for which the agent does a lot of work and makes nothing. Most of the players my Dad represented did not have a father who played an active role in their lives, nor any well educated close friends or family members who could give good advice and guidance, so these young men were cannon fodder when it came to negotiating contracts with clubs (or sponsors), who would take advantage whenever they could.

    My dad jacked it in when the concept of 'registered agents' was brought in, along with the agent having to pay a reasonable lump sum to be registered. This was supposed to regulate the practice and stop rogue agents. However what it did instead was cause many of the honest agents who were looking after just a few players, not really making any money and typically acting in those players best interests to cease practising, allowing the super agents to hoover up more players. Personally I think my Dad should've started to charge just a small, modest percentage of each player's wage, paid the fee, registered and continued to practice as he was good at what he did and a large majority of the players he represented seemed to really appreciate him (a few who left for big agencies asked to come back). However he said he was never in it for money and would've felt bad taking money just for helping young men who didn't have many good influences in their lives. Though he did carry on doing some consultancy work on player contracts for several years (including for some pretty big agents/agencies) for which he finally actually made some decent money (which he absolutely deserved IMO).

    To be a good agent you typically have to have legal qualifications (or have a legal team), be a good negotiator, a good organiser, manage lots of rather disfunctional family figures, maintain loads of contacts and be prepared to work bloody hard at pretty much all hours.

    I don't know how the likes of Raiola and the Super agents operate these days but I suspect their MO involves them having quite large outgoings in paying money to the families of young talent located all over the World to get them on the books. A large majority of that young talent will then never earn a penny from the game.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2022
  7. DeanoAustin

    DeanoAustin John Lacy

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    Have no doubt that if agents didn't exist, clubs would be screwing players big time.

    They are a necessary evil who do far more than people will acknowledge as outlined by @Finney Is Back.
     
  8. Finney Is Back

    Finney Is Back Ian Walker

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    One thing of benefit that I think should be brought in is that agents/agencies who represent players should only be allowed to be paid directly by the players they represent. i.e. The payment is paid from the player to the agent as opposed to being paid from the club to the agent. That would make players consider whether they thought they were getting value from the agent, as at present I think many players don't consider that money to be coming from them.

    I also don't think an agent/agency should be able to work for more than one party in a deal. So selling club, buying club and player must all be represented by a different agent/agency or by no agent at all. That would put a stop to agents like Mendes having such a huge influence and being able to move around players pretty much at his own will.
     
  9. FolkestoneSpur

    FolkestoneSpur Clive Wilson

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    Charlie Kane says hi!
     
  10. RunTMC

    RunTMC Noé Pamarot

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    The key thing is that the agents enable the player to just focus on their football - training and maintaining good form in matches. If players start getting themselves involved in all this extra stuff their form will soon suffer due to the distraction. The agent is a one stop shop take care of that other mess.
     
  11. Bullet

    Bullet Steffen Freund

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    Neither of those is enforceable in reality though; the player would just say "where am I supposed to find £100k from Dave?" and the agent/club would sort it out between them and say "there you go, all sorted".

    Likewise players and clubs might all pretend to be represented by different agents, but you know there would be a Mr Big Super Agent ensuring the deal gets done. It is all "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours later, even though you don't want this player, just take him and then I will get you that other guy"
     
  12. Baleforce

    Baleforce Steve Archibald

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    Many industries, sports, arts have agents.

    The difference is the commoditisation of the talent in football.
     
  13. Bullet

    Bullet Steffen Freund

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    Interesting a few days ago listening to Mark Hateley. As a kid he dropped down from Div 1 Coventry to Div 2 Portsmouth to get game time, did really well and was playing for England.
    Next thing he knows, Ray Wilkins tells him he is wanted at AC Milan but Mark isn't at all sure what is going on, 2 days later he is told "OK we've sold you to AC Milan, pack your bags son".
    He didn't have chance to meet Milan, to negotiate a wage or anything, was just told to pack his bags and go.
     
  14. Baleforce

    Baleforce Steve Archibald

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    Thats the way it was before Bosman. Gary Mabbutt was wanted by Liverpool at one point, his contract with us had expired but we wouldn’t release his registration to the cheating clams, he had to stay.
     
  15. El Guepardo

    El Guepardo Christian Ziege

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    Haha. He achieved nothing over the summer as far as I am aware. He appeared to be desperate for Harry Kane to leave, and yet nothing final happened. All that was left was Harry Kane to attempt to save face with some PR which at best had mixed results. Kane’s image has fallen both in, and outside of, the club. So overall, what did Charlie Kane achieve?
     
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  16. Finney Is Back

    Finney Is Back Ian Walker

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    My Dad had cases where clubs would agree fees for players he represented and the selling club would inform the buying club what wage and bonus scheme the player was on at present to give the buying club a massive advantage in the forthcoming negotiation. When dealing with young players without agents (or even with agents but it was less likely to bear fruit) clubs would also have a habit of talking about entire possible package when it came to player wages, incorporating appearance bonuses and win bonuses, without pointing out that they were bonuses as opposed to part of the standard package. Young players could then sign deals that paid them hardly anything unless they were playing and winning matches.
     
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  17. FolkestoneSpur

    FolkestoneSpur Clive Wilson

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    Mostly confirmed that players really do need experienced agents.
     
  18. MKSpur

    MKSpur Johnny Morrison

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    Players need protection a middle man for clubs when it comes to negotiation, an expert in contracts before signing them and when they are looking to move someone with a network to help facilitate those moves. The shady part like anyone brokering a deal is whether the commission they earn means they are not serving the best interests of their client.

    A lot of the parasitical jobs mentioned involve a benefit for someone to sell something that isn’t theirs or in an untruthful manner to receive payment. Many people still seek comfort from executing the transactions through those mediums.

    For example with Rightmove you’d think estate agents would have all but disappeared, as other than the marketing cost and a possible reticence to not deal and negotiate with buyers, the most important cog in the process is the conveyancer near the end, who usually work for a flat fee and to protect their client from buying a lemon. But usually in these cases the agent isn’t pushing the client who has them on a retainer anyway to make the sale before they are instructed to do so, in a situation they are currently happy in and serves them well just so they can earn that commission.

    Maybe it’s something regulation can look at, in banking there is a ‘best execution’ and plenty of reg around what a client is offered so maybe if there is transparency around that and a particular agent keeps breaching best ex guidelines / receives more complaints they lose their licence to be an agent?
     
  19. DeanoAustin

    DeanoAustin John Lacy

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    Listen to Harry Redknapp talk about Benjani to City. Basically, Portsmouth couldn't believe what City offered so they put him on a plane and told him to go despite the fact he loved Portsmouth and wanted to stay. It was funny the way Harry told it but if you were to look at it from Benjani's perspective, it's quite a ruthless and sad story.
     
  20. ricky2tricky4city

    ricky2tricky4city Rafael Van Der Vaart

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    The rules and structure had to change around financial services.

    As regards Estate Agents, i'm surprised they haven't disappeared, they add very little value to the process.(in some cases they hinder) And although in theory they are working on the sellers behalf, they just aren't.
     
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