Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Time to neuter agents?

Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan has a wonderful column today regarding the role of agents in European football. The whole article is here.

Jordan spells out his complaint with this paragraph:

"This isn't a personality thing with me, a control thing or any sort of vendetta. I've said before I'm not conducting a crusade against agents - just against bad agents and bad practice. I see so many of them happy to sow division if it means they get a better deal, often working against the interests of clubs, players and supporters - and yet the game still opens its arms and embraces them. It's a problem on both sides: agents out to bleed the game dry supposedly in their client's best interests, and egotistical, irresponsible officials who are more than happy to roll over and let them."

If agents smell money, they are going to go for it. I can't blame agents for that; I think most of us are like that. I would rather get paid $15 per hour then $10 doing the same job? However, when money is the only thing taken into consideration, the game suffers.

For the handful of big money clubs (Chelsea, Arsenal, Man U), these fees and salaries are not that big of a deal. However, for a small club like Palace, sending a £400,000 or so to one player (plus some more to the agent) means that they might not be able to get another player. This weakens the team, but the agent doesn't need to worry. If your guy is the big name, he can always move on a year later.


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