Agents cashed in with $529.3m in fees in Summer transfer window

money go round

By Paul Nicholson

September 11 – Intermediaries earned a massive $529.3 million in commissions in the last transfer window, according to data from FIFA TMS (transfer match system) covering the summer transfer window.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Sports Conference last week, FIFA’s Jacques Blondin gave a review of the TMS system and the activity in the transfer window June 1 to September 2. TMS records and officially registers the movement of players between clubs.

While intermediaries (a term that incorporates player agents) are regarding by many (if not most) as the scourge of the player transfer business with calls from all sides to cap their incomes, their role and money earned is ever-increasing. The $529.3 million is an increase if €447.6 million on the previous year. Of that figure a noteworthy 64.9% was paid by the engaging club.

It is an uncomfortable percentage that points more towards the economics of a trading market for goods, than a representation business with player welfare and opportunity as a core value.

Blondin said that while most national transfer windows were now closed, FIFA still had 60 member association transfer windows open.

In the period covered there were 8,746 transfers, up from 8,527 last year, with 63% of transfers being for less than $1 million.

Europe dominated with 76% of the spend coming from the five big leagues. 47% of the value came from just 50 transfers while 48 of the 50 most expensive transfers were in Europe.

Blondin also pointed to an increase in the number of women transfers. There were 377 deals done at a value of $410,000.

FIFA is taking digital control

A progression of the TMS technology has been an expansion for its use for domestic transfer and registration systems.

“There is an obligation for federations to implement electronic domestic transfer and registration systems, and a clearing house,” said Blondin.

It will also be an obligation in future to register amateur players moving between national federations within TMS.

Blondin said that federations in CAF and Concacaf were already using the system as their default national system. Not surprisingly Europe and Asia with their mistrust of FIFA have not moved within its digital walls to date.

The requirements for the amateur player registrations have meant a technological scaling up of TMS. The system will go live in test on October 1, with it becoming mandatory on full implementation on 1 July 2020.

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