We all have choice words for them and if we are nice we call them 'football agents', but now FIFA has washed its own dirty hands of them and passed the buck for controlling them to member associations, and renamed agents as 'INTERMEDIARIES' !! Maybe we should now call bank robbers and bankers by the same name ???
Controversial new regulations could reduce their lucrative and not well deserved income. Football transfers are rife with with underhand and unlicensed transactions world wide. "I think its going to create anarchy and everybody is going to be sorry about it" claims Mel Stein who is chairman of the London-based Association of Football Agents. "FIFA could't cope so they have handed it over to the individual territories. I can see a bloke in the pub who knows a parent or a footballer's dad saying "I'll represent you" and then undercut everyone". The AFA, which represents 450 of the 550 licensed agents in England is so disturbed.
FIFA is recommending commissions on player contracts and transfers capped at 3%. At present they normally range from 5% to 10%. Intermediaries will no longer need to pass an exam to qualify and in England will pay a £500 fee. All national associations will be required to implement a registration system and NO COMMISSION is allowed on deals concerning under-18s. (Of course agents will simply ask for the fee to be delayed until after the player's 18th birthday). Stein, who was Paul Gascoigne's agent in his prime, thinks that it will return to a WILD WEST situation before there was regulation. Agents may go to a club such as Arsenal and say give us an exclusive £1 million a year scouting agreement.
Both UEFA and FIFPro, (the players union), want to strengthen an upcoming worldwide ban to stop third parties from owning player transfer rights. FIFA's phased-in ban on third party ownership, or TPO, comes into force on May 01. UEFA and FIFPro are asking the European Commission to outlaw TPO too. FIFPro said that "it would insure any potential loopholes and windows for circumvention of the new regulations put forth by FIFA are closed."