Football Agents or Intermediaries?

Football Agents or Intermediaries?

Football Agents may be a thing of the  past next year.  Instead they are to be replaced by a term called "Intermediaries."  The new Regulations are not without criticism. However FIFA are determined to put into place a new system of Regulation.  In its preamble it refers to is obligations to players and clubs:

FIFA considers it essential to protect players and clubs from being involved in unethical and/or illegal practices and circumstances in the context of concluding employment contracts between players and clubs and of concluding transfer agreements. In the light of these considerations, and with the aim of properly addressing the changing realities of modern-day relations between players and clubs as well as to enable proper control and transparency of player transfers, FIFA has enacted these regulations in accordance with article 4 of the Regulations..."

The new set of Regulations are said to offer minimum standards for football agents that must be implemented by each association at National Level.

Scope of the Football Agents Regulations

The football agent regulations are primary where the Club or Player engages an agent (intermediary) to:

a)    conclude an employment contract between a player and a club, or

b)    conclude a transfer agreement between two clubs.

Associations are to implement and enforce these minimum standards.

Concept of Due Diligence

The new football regulations introduce the concept of "due diligence."  This is defined as:

"players and clubs shall use reasonable endeavours to ensure that the intermediaries sign the relevant Intermediary Declaration and the representation contract concluded between the parties."

All football agents, intermediaries must be registered with the Football Associations eg (if England and Wales, the Football Association).  All player or club contracts to be registered with the FA so that a central point of communication (a hub) ensures compliance with the new football agent Regulations.

Impeccable Reputation

To become a new football agent, the intermediary must have an "impeccable reputation" and that there are no contractual relationships with leagues, associations etc where this could lead to a conflict of interest.

Representation Contract

All contracts must state the relationship of the club or player with the football agent intermediary.  That is, is the agent providing a service, consultancy or other legal relationship.  At Paragraph 7 of the Regulations, it is said that the football agent cannot claim more than 3% of the player's basic gross salary:

  • for the period of the player contact. 
  • when acting on behalf of a club to conclude an employment contract with a player.
  • if acting for club to conclude a transfer agreement, not more than 3% of the transfer fee.

Transfer payments such as transfer or training compensation or solidarity contribution must not be paid by clubs to football agents.

Conflicts of Interest - Football Agents, Clubs & Players

Players and Clubs must ensure that there is no conflict of interest.  How a young player is to check this is another matter.  Clubs will have greater resources but certainly Football Agents will be able to assist by declaring any interests.

The New Football Agent Regulations coming into force on 1st April 2015


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