Are you passionate about the sports world, have business acumen and excellent interpersonal skills? You might just be tailored to become a football agent!
What do Football Agents Really Do?
The main mission of the footballer’s agent is to be an intermediary between an athlete and the football clubs he will turn out for in the course of his career. Be it an elite-level athlete, a player at the start of the football journey or one plying his trade in a lower division, the agent must support him in his choice of contracts, which will shape his sports career. This role is therefore extremely important!
On a daily basis, the football agent gets in touch with sports clubs, then put them in touch with the player he represents. The goal? That the interested club recruit the athlete for the highest possible fee, which will be of benefit to both parties.
The agent must therefore negotiate the contracts in the most optimal way possible. Upstream, this professional will spot young talents and detect their potential, in order to be able to “sell” them to clubs afterwards, acting as a football scout.
But beware, the agent is not there for financial reasons only: he also takes on the role of adviser and privileged interlocutor for the footballers for whom he is responsible. He gives them his opinion on the career choices they are going to make, and is therefore one of the main guarantors of their success throughout their athletic life.
The football agent is also a spokesperson who must give a good image of his players on a daily basis, promote them and make them known to the right people. In bullet points, these are what football agents really do:
- • Discovering and developing players: The football agent is shouldered with the role of helping clubs recruit and develop new potential players on the one hand, and on the other hand helping clubs contact established star players from other clubs.
- • Intermediary between club and player: Few players will play for the same football clubs all their life, and at some point, it becomes inevitable that a player would seek a fresh atmosphere or challenge. Therefore, an agent is required to play a pivotal role in the link between club and player during communications and negotiations.
- • Negotiate Player Contracts: General transfer transactions will also involve player contract negotiations, focusing on the long-term development of players. This is very important when young footballers sign their first player contracts.
- • Constructing player immigration channels: This is yet another responsibility a football agent will have to bear. The agent will seek to find the most effective way to help players find foreign opportunities and introduce foreign players to clubs.
- • Career Planning: a complete career planning not only includes short-term planning for the players’ careers, but also some players still need an agent to assist them in this new phase after retirement.
- • Commercial value development: Assisting player clients to sign marketing and advertising contracts, agents seek a series of sponsorship and endorsement activities to continuously enhance the player’s own value as a commodity.
- • Legal consultation and dispute settlement: Many of the football agents are professional lawyers who have either switched jobs or doing this part-time. Therefore, legal consultation and the handling of various legal disputes have naturally become part of the functions of football agents.
- • The development of underage players: Some football agents are responsible for the daily training, study life, career planning and other aspects, of a player just breaking into the scene.
- • Maintain media and public relations: Football agents make full use of media resources, on the one hand, to ensure the necessary positive exposure of players, and actively prevent the emergence of various negative news and hype. A superagent like Mino Raiola is notorious for this.
The player’s agent plays an advisory role with his client and aims for his development both personally and professionally. To this end, they must offer the best support services, at all levels. To carry out his missions, he must benefit from quality training with player agent schools.
What is a football Agency?
With FIFA, UEFA, and major football leagues banning third-party ownership of players as well as the International Professional Players Association calling for the reform of the existing transfer system, the development and protection of potential underage players has once again become an important issue.
Therefore, as a football agent, you must take on more obligations to strengthen the development and protection of underage players. It is necessary to genuinely plan the career of underage players from the perspective of the player’s long-term development, and at the same time strengthen the cultivation of learning life skills outside the football field of play.
Nowadays, more and more agents have established their own brokerage companies and have begun to provide players and clubs with more and more diversified services, including media copyright operations, sponsorship, commercial endorsements, venue marketing, and various sports events.This companies are known as player’s agency.
Mergers, joint ventures, and strategic cooperation have become the development trend of brokerage companies. It is believed that the functions of football brokers in the future will be more diversified and personalized.
What Makes a Good Football Agent?
To be a good footballer agent, you will obviously first need to know the world of football inside and out: the players, clubs, coaches, the rules and trends which govern and animate this sport. Good intuition is not enough, you will need to have real expertise so as not to make mistakes in your choices, as this could be life-changing!
In addition, good knowledge in trade and negotiation will be real assets to carry out the signing of contracts that you will have to make. Finally, of course, the player’s agent must have excellent interpersonal skills, charisma and persuasiveness that will allow him to be the best possible in business and also to weave a solid ration with the footballers being managed.
Since a football agent is thus multitasking between intermediary, tax advisor, wealth advisor, career advisor and so on, this profession involves knowledge in many areas, namely: sport, marketing, law, management, taxation, public relations and without forgetting, a mastery of foreign languages. While it is above all necessary to have a good address book, you must also be a good communicator, negotiator and educator.
How to Become a Football Agent
To exercise the profession of sports agent, there is no need for a diploma or a specific level of studies, even though in absolute terms the profession requires multiple skills; only a license is required. This authorization is issued by the Football Association (not FIFA) of the country for which one wishes to operate for a period of 3 years.
Obtaining one is subject to review. This review, quite complex, includes a general test (general legal knowledge, football law) and a technical test (sports rules relating to the discipline for which one wishes to officiate). In France for example, there is an annual rate of between 400 to 500 candidates who apply to become certified football agents with a success rate of between 10 and 20%.
Some schools prepare for the license of football player agents such as the WST (Worldwide Sport Training) or the EAJF (School of Football Players’ Agents).
It should be noted that since the law known as the modernization of the judicial or legal professions of March 2011, a lawyer can now act as a sports representative. In this case, there will be no need to hold the professional license but in return his field of expertise is more limited than that of a sports agent. An agent under this circumstance will be prohibited from prospecting for new talents.
Are Football Agents in Demand?
Yes, they are. But this profession remains one of the most competitive in the sporting industry. Since this job is the dream of many young football enthusiasts, therefore, it remains difficult to access because there are very few football agents in football, in relativity to footballers.
How Much Do Football Agents Make?
A football agent earns a salary based on commissions calculated from the gross remuneration of the player in his care. This percentage varies from 3 to 10% in some countries, while other countries do not have such limits.
The income of this professional is therefore very variable depending on the popularity and the “bankable” nature of his clients. The more popular an agent becomes in the community, the more he will be able to take charge of reputable and talented footballers, becoming a “superagent.”
The player’s agent is an intermediary. He/she advises athletes (player or coach) in choosing a club and negotiates the amount and conditions of their contract. In return, he/she receives a commission based on the athlete’s remuneration.
Football agents can get between 10%-20% of the players’ commercial income from advertising and management.