Premier League Clubs Increase Agent Spend
By Dan Tracey
The Premier League has always been viewed as a competition that generates big business and when you have some of Europe’s and by extension the world’s richest clubs competing in it, it is a fair view point in which to take.
While that feeling would have no doubt been solidified by the news that has broken in the past few days, one that has seen the Premier League announce the amount of money that has been spent on agents this season.
Agents play a crucially important role in facilitating big money transfer deals and without them trying to move a star player from one club to another would almost be an impossible task to complete.
Some fans will feel that they play an almost unwarranted role in transfer negotiations, with many asking what purpose they actually serve and the ones that do take that stance, will not be best pleased at the Premier League’s announcement.
That’s because the total agent spend for this season was as much as £260m, a figure that is £49m more than this time last season, with title chasing Liverpool alone being responsible for £43m of that spend.
This means that Merseysiders have equated for 16.5% of all the Premier League agent spend this season and perhaps what is more alarming is the fact that the spend on agents has increased, while total transfer fees have fallen.
Does this mean that there needs to be a greater amount of transparency when it comes to how football clubs spend their money, that is certainly what the Football Supporters Federation are now calling for.
A spokesman for the Federation went on to say: “Many will find the volume of money going out of the game shocking – particularly at a time when many lower league clubs are in serious financial difficulty”
At the same time, does the demand for prizes and in turn superstar players create something of a necessary evil. To get the big names, you have to spend large swathes of money and a bulk of that money will come in agency fees.
If you don’t spend, you then run the risk of being overtaken by the clubs around you and that means a lack of progress both on and off the pitch – that is unless you do buck the trend like Tottenham and are still able to compete when signing no-one this season.
However, we have to view Tottenham as anomaly in all of this and therefore the role of the football agent is not one that is going to be diminished anytime soon, especially as the battle stay within the Premier League’s elite is on that is almost perpetual.
It may not make for good reading for Liverpool fans to see that their club have spent such a hefty sum on agents this season, but with the talent those agents have delivered and the possibility of winning the league title, then the ends may well end up justifying the means in the next few weeks.