Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / SEP. 20, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Identify the Right Football Agent

As an aspiring football professional, having the right agent can literally make or break your career. Essentially, a football agent is the key to your success; they will help get placed with the right team, negotiate your contract, and protect you from sometimes shady dealings with team managers. But choosing the right agent can be difficult; here are some tips to help you make the right choice from the get-go.

Player Requirements

Players seeking an agent must be at least 16 years of age in the UK. If you are under the age of 16, you can sign a pre-contract with an agent, but only with parental consent.

Beginning Your Search

Whenever you consider hiring an agent, always ask others for recommendations when you begin your search. This will not only help narrow down your potential hire list, it will give you insight into the agent-player relationship. If you don’t have anyone to ask for a recommendation, you can ask the agencies directly for a list of clients you can contact and speak with about their experience with the agency.

Verify Legitimacy

A legitimate agent must be licensed through the FA in the UK. The FA is part of the FIFA which regulates all aspects of major and minor league football both nationally and internationally, and it is the duty of these entities to ensure agents are always dealing within regulation and the player’s best interest. The licensure process is a rigorous one; it includes identity and residency verification, an exam regarding national and international football rules and regulations, and an extensive background check. Before hiring an agent, make sure they are licensed to retain clients in the UK by checking the licensed agents list on FIFA

Interview Several Agents

A good agent should ask you where you want to end up from the get-go; they should help you outline your career goals and work hard to help you meet them. Promises of cash and fancy cars are nice but your agent must not only deliver on profits, he or she must also be dedicated to helping you attain you professional goals. First and foremost, your agent should have a true passion and love for the game, this is a sure sign he or she will work hard to get you where you want to be within the league.

Determine Their True Intentions

The average compensation for a football agent is 4%-10% of a footballer’s total salary. That is a good chunk of change, so you must be sure that your agent has your best interest in mind, not just how much cash they can squeeze out of a hiring team. Determining the intentions of potential agents can be difficult; after all, they negotiate hefty contracts day in and day out. This means they are not only shrewd businessmen and women; they are practiced in the art of persuasion. 

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Agencies with a huge number of clients sometimes do not have the time or resources to properly care for their players. In some cases, choosing a huge agency isn’t exactly the perfect choice when you are starting out. Be sure to consider smaller agencies before making your final decision.

Choosing the right agent means everything if you intend on pursuing a career in any professional or semi-professional sport. With agents, everything is up for negotiation, so be sure to finalize commission rates you are comfortable with.

 

Image via The Cross Trainer

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