Know Your Place !

There are many times  in the world of football when people need to know their place, or in a lot of cases need to be told their place.  In an environment where ego’s, bravado, image and in some cases dishonesty prevail it is only to be expected that barriers and boundaries become blurred (sometimes innocently).

Who is the Talent

Although not alone, football agents are guilty on many occasions of not knowing their place and the first sign can be thinking they (as the agent) are the talent …. Wrong wrong wrong wrong and WRONG !  (I think I made my point there).

Despite the apparent necessity for the perma-tan, expensive lunches, shiny suit or designer jean and sunglasses combination the agent is not the talent, sure good agents are in ‘many’ cases talented individuals, serving their clients well and achieving the rewards for their clients and ultimately themselves.

Many a time I have spoken to a player as a potential client and one of the questions often posed is along the lines of “what can you do for me, another agent has told me that next year they can get me a move/contract to/with a Premier League club”. I may be wrong but I have yet to meet one of these psychic agents (who can predict the future) and those who do, some may  question what they know and how they can guarantee it  (maybe insider trading ….. illegal, or third party incentives …… again illegal).

The fact remains that without performances on the pitch from the player and/or clear potential in the case of a young footballer they will not get the contract they desire never mind forge a career as a footballer …. and that is regardless of who the agent may be …….. so the player is arguably the talent.

** There may well be cases of an agent and/or player blagging a contract with a club beyond the players abilities, only to get found out once they start playing in a match.

But what happens then? ………. does the player get another club? what of their reputation, what of the agents reputation and what of the reputation of that agents other player-clients? If that player becomes a laughing-stock do all the others solely by association

Who is the Client ? and Who is the Employer?

Many people hold the opinion that in modern day football, the players hold the power and it is certainly a valid case to say they hold more power than they ever have done before – but ultimately the clubs, the club owners and the club ‘custodians’  still hold the majority of the power. They don’t necessarily have to sign a particular player, they ultimately dictate the terms of the contract and in extreme circumstances they can dismiss a player. So at this point it is worth pointing out :

  1. The club is
    1. the employer
    2. the opportunity
  2. , and the player is
    1. the employee
    2. the service provider
    3. the servant to the club

The player – agent relationship is (or should be) very similar in that the player does not have to sign with a particular agent (NOTE : former footballer now doing very nicely from the media … A PLAYER DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE AN AGENT), so in essence :

  1. The player is
    1. the client
    2. the talent
    3. the opportunity
  2. and the agent is
    1. the employee
    2. the service provider
    3. the servant to the player

** The player representation agreement lodged with the relevant National Football Association should identify the roles and responsibilities of both player and agent to one another.

So before any of my player/clients call me … I am not making you a cup of tea or cleaning your boots J

So in summary maybe all of those involved need to take a step back, look at the situation, relationships, duties, obligations and maybe then they will know their place …….. and make life easier and more productive for all involved

Note to Players

Take time to judge whether people can deliver and or whether they are making false promises solely to tie you down to a representation agreement. It may be what you want to hear that you will be playing European football next year and doubling your salary at a new club ….. but is it realistic?

You are the talent …….. take a hold of your future and don’t necessarily believe what you WANT to hear. But also remember when you are at the club they are the employer and they gave you the opportunity that you earned.