Player agents cash in on Premier League with £260m in fees, Liverpool pay most

By Andrew Warshaw

April 5 – Amid the constant debate over the role of agents, new figures reveal that Premier League clubs paid out an eye-watering £260 million to them during 2018-19 – an increase of £49 million on the previous 12 months.

Title-chasing Liverpool, hoping to land the prize for the first time in over a generation, were the biggest spenders, forking out a remarkable £43.8million to agents in the period from February 2018 to January 2019 which takes in the last two transfer windows – £17 million more than anyone else.

Liverpool spent almost double the amount rivals Manchester United paid and over $30 million more than title rivals Manchester City. Despite being way off the pace in this season’s title race, Chelsea spent the second-highest amount – $35 million – on agent’s fees.

This week, Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reported that the Premier League and Football Association want to introduce new rules on agents from next season in order to stop the same agent being paid by both the club and player in a single transfer.

Liverpool’s outlay is a reflection of the amounts they paid to bring in new players such as Brazilians Alisson and Fabinho, Naby Keita and Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri ahead of the start of the 2018/2019 season.  As most agents’ fees are paid in instalments, the sum they paid could quite possibly also take into account the £75 million spent on Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk in the 2018 January transfer window.

Liverpool would no doubt claim the money has been well spent given where they are now but the same could not be said for Fulham whose spend represented a staggering 239% increase yet who have just been relegated. Wolverhampton Wanderers’ outlay represented a huge 223.8% increase as well but the club have managed to cement a top-eight place as well as reach the FA Cup semi-finals.

Only two clubs paid out a reduced amount to agents: Watford and Southampton.

Overall, English football spent £318 million on intermediaries, up £60 million on a year ago, and the figures will fuel the debate about whether agents are paid too much especially given that Premier League transfer spending itself over the same period was down by more than £500 million.

The Football Supporters’ Federation called for greater transparency in how the money was spent.

“Many will find the volume of money going out of the game shocking – particularly at a time when many lower league clubs are in serious financial difficulty,” a spokesman said.

“Though supporters back the right for players to have representatives that look after their interests, they struggle to understand the justification for some of these astronomical fees seen today. Greater transparency and accountability is needed.”

Agent fees paid by Premier League clubs:

1) Liverpool: £43,795,863
Increased by 63.4%

2) Chelsea: £26,850,552
Increased by 6.7%

3) Manchester City: £24,122,753
Increased by 2.75%

4) Manchester United: £20,759,350
Increased by 15.3%

5) Everton: £19,116,370
Increased by 58.6%

6) West Ham: £14,414,845
Increased by 71.6%

7) Leicester City: £12,720,618
Increased by 28.3%

8) Arsenal: £11,181,730
Increased by 5.9%

9) Tottenham: £11,141,255
Increased by 55.3%

10) Watford: £10,894,179
Decreased by 18.6%

11) Bournemouth: £10,295,433
Increased by 33.1%

12) Newcastle: £8,868,027
Increased by 19.7%

13) Fulham: £8,234,360
Increased by 239.1%

14) Crystal Palace: £6,976,425
Increased by 13%

15) Brighton: £6,859,429
Increased by 55.4%

16) Wolves: £6,479,714
Increased by 223.8%

17) Southampton: £6,151,107
Decreased by 2.3%

18) Huddersfield: £5,023,807
Increased by 103.7%

19) Burnley: £3,975,928
Increased by 20.5%

20) Cardiff: £2,802,375
Increased by 38.3

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1718422926labto1718422926ofdlr1718422926owedi1718422926sni@w1718422926ahsra1718422926w.wer1718422926dna1718422926