Football Player Agent

If you were looking for a job that made sure you were almost universally reviled, then you couldn’t do much worse than become a Football Players Agent. Seen as money grabbing and even termed parasitic by many in the football world, do these agents really deserve the bad wrap that they get?

Another type of agent that is reviled is Estate Agents Bath, Bristol or probably anywhere else in the country for that matter. Footballers need a home too, so they if look on they’ll find one. What led to the start of the Football Agent? You have to look at the influence of Jimmy Hill for that and the minimum wage cap.

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Before it became professional, Football was an amateur game. In other words, players were miners, tailors, shop assistants and chimney sweeps in the week then footballers on Saturday. They played for the love of the game, but it was not uncommon for them to get certain kickbacks. In 1885 the FA decided to regulate all professional players. These were the men who relied on Football for a wage and livelihood. They could be paid anywhere between 10 shillings a week (about 50p) and up to £5 depending on the club. Some, if the club was owned by a wealthy industrialist, found themselves in highly paid cushy jobs rather than play full time, until they retired from Football and had to leave. It was proposed that a cap of £4 be introduced but this got players up in arms as some where on £10. Back then the league had a North and South division. It was far too tempting for the players in the North to go South as there was no limit and they could go up to £10 a week.

A player’s union continued down through the years and, led by Jimmy Hill, finally decided to strike unless there was no limit. Fearing the worst, the FA gave in and ended the wage cap. The opportunity for player power was now open. Johnny Haynes, Jimmy Hill’s old teammate became the first £100 a week player, well over the average wage for the fans watching.

With this power, Players began to negotiate their own contracts. However, as they themselves had no idea their parents usually took over. They also generally had no idea.

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The players agent began to take over. They had been around since the 1950’s but for the 70’s onwards they were the movers and shakers. They were able the negotiate deals not just for transfers but also the dreaded personal terms. In 50 short years the limited of £5 was eclipsed by the £263 million Paris-St -Germain paid for Neymar. The agents are only acting in an environment that we as fans and the FA have created. Players are still commodities only now they have more control and the agents “meagre” 5% or 10% cut is only going to continue.

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