Imagine the scene – your friend/associate introduces you to someone new,
you strike up a conversation, everything is going absolutely swimmingly until you are asked that dreaded question :

“and what do you do (for a living) ?

, how exactly do you answer …..


“ well I am a football agent”

 

….. the typical response from those who follow football is; a fading smile and an “oh …… really !!!”,

at worst a sneer or a scowl (from those more ardent football followers) as they withdraw their handshake as though they have just put their hand into a surprise box as part of a ‘bush tucker trial’ on ‘I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here”.

 

You Sometimes Feel Like Apologising

Hoping that people you meet outside of the football industry have little or no knowledge of your industry is a sad state of affairs, but one that I and many agents experience. Even though it is a job we enjoy and endeavour to work hard and represent our clients as best we can, there is an undercurrent and common found belief that all football agents are :

The scum of the earth

The blight of the beautiful game

Take money out of the game

Don’t care about anyone, let alone the sport

And unfortunately in a vast number of cases this may well be the truth, whether the agent in question is licensed or not. It is worth noting however that there are many cases to the contrary and if it wasn’t for the misreporting, stereotyping and misinterpretation  of the stories regarding football agents, maybe a more balanced perception would be found.

There Are Positive Stories Regarding Football Agents

You will be hard pressed to find a positive media story about a football agent, after all it just doesn’t sell many papers, interest journalists, attract viewers or give someone else with an interest in sport a platform on which to take the higher ground. However if the time was taken to dig a bit deeper in to what agents actually do you will be quite surprised – from ‘supporting a player at a relative’s funeral’ to ‘taking them to the airport for a holiday as there is a problem with their car’.

To many footballers their agent can almost become their best friend, yet also has a responsibility to tell them what they may not want to hear at times.

It isn’t always a nice cushy number with multi-million pound deals and corporate events; especially when you are freezing cold, watching an reserve team match on a Tuesday evening with a Bovril and a pie (that may have first seen the light of day when Jimmy Greaves was scoring goals left, right and centre). It can be a challenge at times and hugely frustrating for many agents who want to do things the right way, but many of these guys real do enjoy it and enjoy helping and supporting their clients.

So as and when you next meet someone who introduces themselves as a football agent give them a bit of time to explain how they operate and who knows you MAY find one of the good guys, who has some nice uplifting stories to tell of how they have helped their clients to succeed.

We are not ALL bad ……… honest !

 

 

P.S.
Remember if they refer to themselves officially (e.g. on their business card) as anything other than ‘Football Agent Licensed by ………’ they may be one of those to beware of.