After a weekend where spectators, fans and the media alike were given a Barclays Premier League treat (unless your team were the losing side), the league went goal crazy with football records on an amazing weekend of top-flight football in England.

Over the weekend, a feast of goals and eye-opening results were seen in the English Premier League with 43 goals scored in total (breaking previous records set in 1997 and 2010), with 41 on the Saturday alone – but this has led us to ask the question – was the smashing of Premier League goal scoring records over the weekend that rewarding for licensed football agents?

Well for anyone who loves football the weekend should have been a rewarding experience, and I would like to think a vast proportion of agents are agents because they love football.

As an agent, if your client(s), were fortunate enough to play a part in the goal scoring over the weekend (whether they be an individual football player or a team/club), you should, if you can see past the short-term ‘pound-signs’, be able to identify multiple benefits including extra publicity or an increase in a player’s market value.

However, many people whether through naivety or ignorance still assume that licensed football agents will benefit from their clients goal scoring and performance based exploits on a match by match basis, and this weekend will signal a windfall for the football agent in question. Yet under current regulations agents cannot earn commission based on a client(s) non-guaranteed income (e.g. goal bonus, win bonus) and as such the Premier League goal scoring exploits for the 5th and 6th February 2011 won’t necessarily be of financial benefit and reward to licensed players agents.

Notice I did stress that licensed agents in football won’t necessarily receive financial ‘bonuses’ based solely on the weekend’s Premier League goal tally, yet it would be ignorant to think that somewhere along the line unlicensed agents may well have weaved in bonus payments to themselves.

Those football agents who choose not to be licensed and operate outside the rules and laws of FIFA and the Football Association won’t necessarily pay any attention to the legislation governing bonus payments. This may also bring into question – “what will happen when the current FIFA Agent licensing regulations are abolished in 2011 and replaced with a new system(s). Will it further aide unlicensed agents and unscrupulous parties to not only ‘bleed the game dry’ but also exploit players, clubs and supporters whether it be indirectly or directly?



The whole matter of performance related bonuses has been a ‘sore-point’ in football for some time, especially when many currently have the view that ‘average players earn above average salaries’, and why aren’t football players paid on a performance related basis. You won’t find us arguing with this, as in all walks of life bonuses certainly seem to ‘focus the mind’ and ‘maximise effort’ – not to mention it would make player contract negotiations in a large proportion of cases far more straightforward and save a lot of time.

Yet when considered, the crux of contract negotiations is typically discussed between club Chief Executive and Player’s Agent, and many agents will understandably show less conviction in agreeing a contract for their client that is weighted heavily towards bonuses rather than the basic salary, and thus decrease the potential value of their commissions from representation.

It is not unbeknown for Chiron Sports and Media to negotiate the playing contract on the basis of securing a longer term deal for our footballing clients that is more heavily weighted towards bonuses, rather than a shorter term deal with a higher basic salary – thus providing a little more security for the client. Certainly our commissions annually may well be lower with such a contract negotiation, but the long term value for both Chiron and the client player will be greater in the long term (and arguably also be of benefit to the club).

So will the changes to the licensed football agent regulation from FIFA allow for such rewards to be passed on to agents (or ‘intermediaries’ as they may well be known in the future) – who know as we are yet to see the new regulations.

If some agent’s commissions were partly supplemented from players bonuses they would show more interest in their clients performance and attend games to support and assist their client, rather than just appear ‘out of thin air’ when a new contract is needs renewing, transfer interest is shown from somewhere else, or even when a third party introducer is possible.

There is certainly a case that some bonuses should be covered in licensed agent’s commissions (e.g. goal bonuses) – but we would argue not all bonus commissions would be good should the rules be changed. It is widely reported that some agents, both licensed and unlicensed, may be accused of unsettling a player so as to facilitate a transfer and ‘harvest’ the commission from a signing-on … but could you imagine the acrimony if an agent (or other third party) got a reward from the sell-on value of a player from a transfer-fee (currently illegal under third party ownership regulations) and that they may have illegally unsettled the player?