Agents furious over FIFA plans to cap commissions and threaten legal action

By Samindra Kunti

January 23 – Leading agents, including Mino Raiola, Jorge Mendes and Jonathan Barnett, have threatened FIFA with legal action over proposals to cut fees to the representatives of players and clubs involved in transfers.

Last September, Zurich proposed plans to limit agents of the selling club to a maximum of 10% of the transfer fee. The global governing body also wants a 3% cap of the player’s fee for agents of the buying club, but those proposals got a stern rebuke at a meeting of the world’s biggest football agents in attendance at a meeting of the Association of Football Agents (AFA) in north London.

“We want fairness,” Barnett countered. “FIFA should recognise us and treat us in a proper manner. The truth is FIFA doesn’t know exactly what an agent does. No-one from FIFA has ever been to my office or had a conversation with me. If you ask players what they want, they are in favour of agents. There are never complaints about agents’ fees from players. We will try until the last minute to resolve the problem, but rest assured, if necessary we will go to every court in the world.”

The world federation is looking to implement its plans as early as next season, but could now face stern opposition from agents.  “For the first time, we have agreed a united policy in respect of FIFA’s proposals,” said Mel Stein, life president of the Association of Football Agents. We will be writing to them jointly to advise them that once there is a formal, consultative process in place where all parties can bring their proposals to the table, we will be eager to meet with them. As far as we are concerned, it sends a clean, positive message to FIFA on where we are on this.”

In response FIFA wrote that: “We are aiming for a system of balanced and reasonable regulation, instead of the law of the jungle currently in place, with conflicts of interests rife and exorbitant ‘commissions’ being earned left and right.”

“In the last year alone, football agents earned $653.9 million (£498.2 million) in fees, four times more than in 2015.”

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1600969223labto1600969223ofdlr1600969223owedi1600969223sni@o1600969223fni1600969223