Professional football players will always need someone to represent them in contract negotiation because not many of these players understand the intricacies of football business. There’s the playing side of the sport and there’s the business side, which requires some expertise.
To represent a professional football player requires education. Lawyers are better positioned to make good players’ representative because most contract negotiation requires knowledge of football laws and regulations. Though, it is not restricted to only lawyers. Marketing professionals, ex-football players as well as business administrators could also be players’ representatives, but they must as well be vast in football law.
Usually, player representatives are given license to operate. They are called player-licensed agents. Before now, they obtain license from FIFA, but today, you could obtain such license from a national Football association such as NFF after you have passed the examination.
How it works
For a professional player that is not in any contract with a club or a player on Bosman (Just finished his contract with a club) the player’s agent will approach a club that require the service of the player and negotiate the offer. The player agent usually has his own offer, depending on the rating of the player. The player agent will keep negotiating with the club until they both each an agreement of an acceptable service condition for the player.
In the case where the player is in a contract with a club but has an offer from another club, the Player agent first meets the club where the player has a contract to receive a Mandate for the transfer of the player. The Mandate will include condition of transfer whether on outright sell or on loan basis. Then, the agent goes to the offering club to negotiate based on the Mandate conditions.
Sometimes, the club might not be willing to sell the player and nothing the agent can do about it. In some cases, the club may want a switch deal with another player(s) from the offering club.
The negotiation goes beyond Sign-on fees and salaries to other conditions of service such as minimum playing time, Medical and health insurance, conditions for contract severance etc.
In case of any disagreement in the contract, your agent will be actively involved in the FIFA arbitration…Football matters are not heard in a regular court. You could only get appropriate hearing from FIFA arbitration.
To be a player agent requires clear knowledge on how to deal in the football transfer market. Today, only licensed agents can represent players. It is illegal for an ordinary lawyer or any other person for that matter to be an active party in the contract negotiations. Though, Players can negotiate their own contract themselves and sometimes, the player’s manager is passively involved, but not recognized by FIFA.
Whether you’re a lawyer or marketing professional, it is better to take an additional course on Player representative. You can register for player agent course with the National Institute of sports (NIS) in Nigeria or you can take an online course with www.smww.com.
Recently there have been rumblings about FIFA scrapping the licensed agent requirement: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/9049037.stm. With that, you might now be wondering why you should take the football Agent course?
The major problem is that FIFA have found the current Football Agent licensing system too time consuming to manage and monitor. A decision is likely to be made in October 2011, with it likely the FIFA will scrutinize the activity of clubs and players more intensely rather than their agents.
My belief is that although the Football Agent market will be opened up to more people, it will create more competition. Ultimately those agents who are able to provide the best level of service to their client will succeed. It can be argued that the current Football Agent license will become more valuable in the short-term and remain a benchmark in the industry for the next few years. It will still be a powerful tool when trying to recruit clients and therefore I expect an influx of people to attempt to get the license before it is evoked.
If FIFA does scrap the licensing system it is important to realize that it does not mean that they will completely abandon the role of agents all together. Representation will still be required to be lodged with the National Associations concerned (player, club and agent). It is expected that recognized agents would belong to bodies similar to the Association of Football Agents, where there are agreed codes of conduct, personal development requirements and best practice requirements to become a member.
The football Agents will be able to adapt to the new changes in FIFA regulations.
As sport grows globally, more ethical agents are needed, whether you are interested in representing just football players, the agent course will establish you in a sports agent career.
You need to be more abreast with the transfer market:
● Legal and financial issues
● Renegotiating and changing agents
● Personal services and counseling for clients
● Post-career counseling (education, job placement) for clients
● Business ethics & conflicts of interest
● The challenges of signing a client
● Draft preparation (combine, tryouts, personal training)
● Contract negotiations
● Player Marketing, Endorsements and PR
● Player assessment and club placement
● Management services
● Transfer Windows - Regulations on the status of and transfer of players/Bosman Ruling
To aspire to be a player agent is good. Player agency can be a lucrative business especially when you’re well trained. Actually, there is no reason really why you should decide to be a quack or impersonate as an Agent when you can easily study and pass the FIFA licensed Agents examination at your own convenience, in less than a year. Go for it today!