If you can pull off a deal where you get the agent, the player and the club, in one conversation at one event... it makes it so much easier for us to move forward with the deal.
Meeting the selling club and agent in one venue
Networking and getting access to the right decision makers at football clubs and agencies is crucial in the transfer market, but it is also a difficult task.
It is easy to waste valuable time and money travelling all over the world to build relationships, and you can also end up spending that time and resource on connecting with the wrong people or those who don’t have the power to make the key decisions.
But for decision makers like Stewart Mairs, the Technical Director at Major League Soccer club DC United, there is a solution.
Hundreds of clubs and a select group of agencies meet at the in-person TransferRoom Summits in key locations around the globe a few times a year. The next one is in Lisbon and Online on 13-15 November 2023.
The TransferRoom Summit brings together a worldwide network of decision makers in one place for a series of one-to-one meetings and exclusive networking opportunities, meaning executives can do weeks’ worth of transfer business in two days.
And that exclusive access for Mairs and DC United Head of Recruitment Sean Howe was rewarded with a key midfield signing when they joined 100s of decision makers at a TransferRoom Summit ahead of the 2023 Winter Transfer Window.
Mairs was able to speak directly to Leeds United, then in the Premier League, and top Trusted Agency SEG.
Searching for a new midfielder, networking with Leeds and SEG at the event led to DC opening negotiations for Poland international midfielder Mateusz Klich, resulting in his transfer to the MLS club.
“We were looking for a Number 8,” Mairs said in the video below. “I've been at this event for, I think probably seven years now. I always find it very, very beneficial.
“It wasn't actually in a meeting, it was outside in the networking. I spoke to Andrew Taylor [Leeds' Loans Manager]. I said, ‘Listen, we're looking for a Number 8.’
“He said, ‘We've got Klich and you can have a look at him. I'm not sure if we're going to be using him or not.’
“Sean Howe followed up. We talked to SEG, who were at the event also, and then the two of those combined. We took it back to our owners and, a couple of days later, had a real hard look at him.
“It was pretty straightforward from there actually. He wasn't getting game time at Leeds, we knew he was the type of player that we wanted to bring in, as he suited our system.
“So it was quite a straightforward deal after Leeds agreed to let him go. It was all powered by TransferRoom and the off chance at a meeting that we needed a Number 8.”
Even though TransferRoom Summits can result in clubs and agencies getting deals done fast, it’s the longer-term benefits and opportunities to build relationships to facilitate future business which is the biggest appeal to Mairs and the DC recruitment team.
“It's not necessarily about an immediate deal,” Mairs says. “It's maybe the next deal as well.
“Having that network of Sporting Directors and now agents is key. If you can pull off a deal where you get the agent, the player and the club in one conversation at one event, it makes it so much easier for us to move forward with the deal. Immediately you’ve got all the information that you need to potentially execute the transfer.”
DC United and all the clubs in MLS have access to the TransferRoom platform through a league-wide agreement.