New football agent rules come into force as FIFA cuts commissions and demands licensing

January 9 – FIFA’s new agent regulations have come into force with a new legal framework governing agents’ activity and the licensing of agents central to the reforms.

The world federation has long wanted to curb the excesses and deregulation of the agent market and today (Monday) the new rules will mark “a landmark step towards the establishment of a fairer and more transparent football transfer system”, said FIFA.

The cornerstones of the new agent regulations are the return of a mandatory licensing system, the prohibition of multiple representation to avoid conflicts of interest, and the introduction of a cap on agent fees.

Agents will no longer be able to represent all three parties, namely the selling club, the buying club and the player. They can no longer approach players under contract with other agents. The cap on agent fees means that clubs will pay less for representation.

For now, FIFA has introduced a transition period until October when the licensing of agents and the cap will become inescapable.

In December, the FIFA Council ratified the regulations, but despite consultation with stakeholders, it is expected that the new legal framework will be challenged in the courts, in particular on points of EU competition law.

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