Top 10 things to know about new agent rules
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Best Practice
Trusted Agents
Top 10 things to know about new agent rules
by Jonathan Rest

Exams, commission caps and no more family pay days: reform is coming to the agency world and here is what you need to know.

We’ve got no problem with rules and regulations but only if they’re done properly and legally — and these aren’t. So, I’m sure we’ll be in court with FIFA soon, in lots of different countries. We’ve got no problem with new rules, but let’s sit down and write them together.
Jonathan Barnett
Executive Chairman, ICM Stellar Sports

With transfer sums and player salaries having risen over the years, so too have agent commission fees. So FIFA decided to act by implementing a range of regulations.

 

And, as consultations with football’s governing body continue over the summer months, here TransferRoom details 10 key facts agents will need to know - and clubs need to be aware of - when conducting business in the transfer market:

 

1. Mandatory exam

Agents will be required to pass an exam, which had been abolished in 2015. Once licensed, agents must undergo continuing education to maintain their license.


2. Limit on income from player's gross salary

An agent will be limited to a maximum of 3% of the player's gross salary when they are acting on behalf of the player OR on behalf of the buying club.


3. Income limit for dual representation

If the agent is representing both the buying club and the player, where both parties are aware of the possible conflict of interest and written consent has been given, they will be entitled to a maximum of 6% of the player's gross salary.

 

4. Maximum income from gross transfer fee

An agent will be entitled to a maximum of 10% of the gross transfer fee when they are representing the selling club.

5. Ban on triple representation

An agent will not be able to simultaneously represent the buying club and the selling club; the selling club and the player; nor all three parties.

6. Limit on percentage of player's future earnings

Representatives working on behalf of the player, or a buying club, will also have their commissions limited to 10% of a player’s future annual earnings under $200,000 and at 6% for anything above, for the length of an agreed contract.

7. No dual representation of high earners

There has been an end to dual representation for agents whose clients earn more than $200,000 a year.

8. Ban on family commission

Family members will effectively be banned from earning commission payments unless they are licensed agents. Alf-Inge Haaland (pictured with Erling Haaland) is said to have received a large chunk of the €40m in agents fees for his son's forthcoming summer move to Manchester City.

9. Clearing house to approve deals

Every international deal will pass through an independent ‘clearing house’. Five per cent of all fees will be sent to the clubs responsible for developing the transferred player.

10. Proposed changes for 2023-24

Ratification is expected as early as this summer, with the proposed changes set to be in place ahead of the 2023-24 season.

 


Of course, that timeline may be skewed by the likelihood of legal challenges.

 

Jonathan Barnett, Executive Chairman of ICM Stellar Sports, and Vice-President of The Football Forum, told The Athletic in early 2022: “We’ve got no problem with rules and regulations but only if they’re done properly and legally — and these aren’t. So, I’m sure we’ll be in court with FIFA soon, in lots of different countries.

 

“We’ve got no problem with new rules, but let’s sit down and write them together. These rules have been written by people at FIFA who know nothing about agents. They’ve never been inside a football agency. It’s like me writing rules for brain surgeons.

 

“The arrogance of FIFA is the issue here.”

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