Player’s agents are the shrewd, business minded individuals that work behind the scenes to negotiate contracts, find prospects, and work with teams to help them find the right candidates. As a footballer’s agent, you can look forward to working closely with professional athletes and teams while garnering a sizable income in return for your ability to successfully navigate "the game" behind the game.
What Do Player’s Agents Do?
- Advise clients regarding job opportunities
- Be supportive of clients during times of intense pressure
- Aid client’s in career development
- Handle contract negotiations
- Negotiate and secure commercial product opportunities for clients
Jobs in the Field
- Licensed sports agent
- Team Manager
- Individual player manager
The work environment for a licensed football player’s agent is considered fast paced. In most cases, the sports agent will be performing his or her work duties out in the field; therefore they must be prepared to travel for most of the year. As an agent, you work schedule will vary; you must be prepared to be "on call" 24/7.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Detailed understanding of the process of contract transfer
- Strong understanding of marketing and branding
- Detailed understanding of business law and FIFA laws
Typically, the sports agent’s salary will be between 4%-10% of the player’s working contract. In some cases, this amount can increase all the way up to over 30% depending on the player/agent agreement.
Salary Spread Per League 2013
£83,800 - £3,538,034
£3,300 - £688,666
£5,000 - £106,383
There are a few different types of degrees that can provide the footballer’s agent with a considerable edge over the competition.
- Business Management
- Business Law
- Sports Management
A degree in sports management is the most ideal since it covers a broad range of subjects the sport’s agent should master before beginning his or her career. A list of schools in the UK that offer Sports Management degrees are: Bournemouth University, The University of Edinburgh, Loughborough University.
Understanding the FA & FIFA
The FA is the entity which governs the sport of football association in England. FA works to regulate the association of football from small local registered teams all the way up to the professional league. FIFA is the entity that regulates the worldwide football association. FA is part of FIFA; therefore you must apply for licensure from the FA to become a footballer’s agent as a resident of the UK.
Acquiring a Footballer’s Agent License
To apply for a license, download an application from the FA site. Once you complete the application, you must submit it with a few other documents, including a copy of your passport photo and cover page. If you are not a UK national, but are applying for FA licensure, you will also have to submit proof of residency in the UK and address details for the previous two years. Next, the FA will perform a complete Criminal Records Background Check. If your record is tainted in any way, you will most likely be denied a license.
Taking the Exam
If your application has not been denied by this point, you will then have to take a licensure exam. Currently, this exam consists of 20 questions. Out of the twenty, five are questions regarding national regulations and 15 are regarding international regulations. If you fail, you are offered the opportunity to take the exam again immediately, if you fail again you must wait a year to take the exam a third time.
If you have successfully passed your exam, you will now be required by law to secure Professional Indemnity Insurance. In the case of a footballer’s agent, Person Indemnity Insurance will protect you if your client or another entity makes a compensation claim against you if FIFA rules are broken.
There are many different types of careers that could lend as a great starting point for a footballer’s agent. Former players, managers, business graduates and business savvy sports aficionados could have what it takes to become a rather successful agent. No matter which path you choose, become licensed is the top priority and learning the ins and outs of transfer regulations, game laws, and the art of negotiation are key.
As the media for minor and major league football coverage increases, so does the sport’s popularity. New talent comes to light much more quickly than before, so it is important for an agent to stay on top of stats and current sport events. Though finding a diamond in the rough has become more difficult, the influx of budding star players and the availability of their stat information is much more easily accessible; Therefore, the up-and-coming agent must focus more time and effort into research before approaching a potential client.
As an agent, you will have to keep abreast of new rules and regulations as well as keep a sharp eye out to spot potential up-and-coming clients. Learning business laws and honing your skills as a negotiator will help you to excel in this position. Currently, footballer’s agents can earn between 4%-10% of a signed players total contract, which could spell some serious cash down the line.