Fifa is set to diminish the influence of so-called super-agents with regulations that limit the ability of individuals to represent more than one party in a transfer.
According to a first draft of regulations expected to come into effect next year, an agent will only be able to represent a player or a selling or buying club in conducting a transfer. There is one exception, however, with an agent able to represent both buying club and player if all parties agree.
In a further move to clamp down on the practices that generated an estimated $653m in commissions in 2019 (a 19.3% increase on 2018) agents would also have their fees capped by Fifa. Depending on their role in a transfer, an agent would be limited to taking a one-off sum equal to 3% of a player’s annual salary or 10% of the transfer fee to a selling club.
“The easiest thing for us to do would be nothing, but we would like to be a little bit brave in this area,” said Fifa’s chief legal and compliance officer, Emilio García Silvero. “We are very aware that there are some groups that are not happy with some part of the drafts, but we need to protect football from abuses and speculative practices.
“We have evaluated that by introducing these rules, the minimum standards and ethical standards will rise. The activity of agents might be impacted, due to the cap on commissions, but we don’t see a potential financial impact on the transfer market. Agents add an important value for players and for clubs, I don’t have doubts about this.”
The move comes in the face of concerns over the increasingly complex role of agents in transfers, with the possibility of an individual representing clubs and players and also acting as intermediaries in deals.
The first draft of the guidelines run to 33 pages and will be put out for a period of consultation among clubs, leagues and agents at the beginning of next year, before being implemented. The rules would see Fifa resume its role as regulator of agents, after devolving the responsibility to individual football associations in 2015.