Football clubs spent millions of shillings when signing players from another club. The club contract with the player is complex in the sense that most players don’t have the time to go through every clause. It is therefore the responsibility of a football agent to help a player understand every bit of detail in the contract and conclude negotiations.
A football career is short, lasting between 12 – 15 years, and requires much attention when it comes to contract signing. Sportskeeda writes that football agents can help a player plan a career path, manage player finances and act as a mediator between the player and club when disputes arise.
For football players and fans, the point is a home when I talk of football agents. From the likes of Jorge Mendes –representing Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho, Mino Raiola –representing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, to Jonathan Barnett –representing Gareth Bale and Jesse Lingard. A football agent is a representative or intermediary that deals with the interests of a player or multiple players during contract negotiations, according to Goal.
Responsibilities of an agent
Some players, especially in Africa, underestimate the role of a football agent, a fact that has caused misunderstandings and disagreements during contract negotiations. Players who have sourced agent services find it easier to navigate deals and find valuable ones.
An agent helps the player to negotiate contracts, secure lucrative endorsements, sponsorship deals, and organize interviews with the media.
They manage player transfers from one club to another, negotiate contract renewal, handle marketing and media inquiries cum handling issues affecting the player.
Football agents also handle all the necessary paperwork regarding player contracts. They hunt for potential clients and clubs that can offer favourable contracts to a player.
How to become a football agent
Being a football agent only requires one to have a vast understanding of contract and management principles. However, the agent or agency must be registered by the football association governing the sport in the country where the player is undertaking duties.
In England, agents are registered and regulated by the Football Association (FA) which requires them to comply with a test of 'Good Character and Reputation'.
Football agents are accredited by the football governing body in the country they practice from. In Kenya, agents are registered by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF). The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) also accredits Agents globally.
How much does a football agent earn?
Football agents are paid on commission; whose percentage range up to 10%. According to Sports Management Worldwide, a player agent earns between £1,200 to £550,000 annually. This is based on the league the client is assigned to.
Agents representing Major League Soccer (MLS) players earn between $1,300 to $260,000.
In Kenya, there are about 2189 Player Agents accredited by FKF and FIFA.
The vitality of football agents in the sporting career, especially football, cannot be ordinarily measured. Agents go to an extent of spotting upcoming talents and connect them with teams. They play a big role in mediation, as mandated by FIFA, between a player and the team during transfers.