The FA have released the new figures showing the Intermediary Fees between 1st February 2017 to 31st January 2018. The total figure for the Premier League came out at £211.011,187. The highest being Liverpool at £26,793.503 and the lowest being Huddersfield at £2,465,815.
In the year before 1st Feb 2016 – 31st January 2017, the Intermediary Fees for the Premier League were £174,227,243. The highest being Manchester City at £26,286,988 and the lowest being Middlesbrough at £2,478,379.
Everton paid a lot more this year in fees as they bought more players. Watford doubled their fees too. The big clubs remained similar than the year previously. It was the perhaps smaller clubs that spent more on agency fees, as their spending was increased on players. This has come about due to the rise in players prices, because of the increased TV money. Also that newly promoted clubs have a lot more room within FFP to increase their wage bills without risk of any repercussions. So perhaps these figures show that the smaller clubs are actually trying to equal the playing field.
The agency fees only grow as the spending grows, it remains the same or similar as a percentage. They aren’t fees that are ‘getting out of control’, they are staying in line with other spending. My personal feeling is that the fees paid are getting very high, especially as we have now seen a slight tail off in the TV rights spending. Hopefully these fees will settle down as well as wages paid.
It’s hard to draw a comparison of Agents fees to Spending fees as an agent wont normally earning of a transfer fee. But the assumption is that with the rise in spending, there would be a rise in salaries paid to players and this is what would affect the agents fees. All the EPL clubs have to work within the Financial Fair Play rules, these fees fall inside of these rules.
It seems that a team of top club officials will be meeting to talk about the fees that agents are getting. The press and to an extent FIFA, jump onto the line ‘money going out the game’. Agents and their fees are very much part of the game. The Club officials meeting, I think, will look more at how the agents fees are paid, the actual mechanism. I don’t think they want to abolish them as they understand the necessity. However I think they will want the player to pay the fees rather than the club.
I also feel that instead of FIFA etc looking at the high end fees being paid, they should look at the regulations that they wiped their hands clean of, especially around Premier League academies. This is where the world of football agents can be very murky, especially as wages increase in Premier League academies.
Let’s see what happens in the future. Agents and Intermediaries will always be around to help get the best for their clients. They aren’t going anywhere quickly.