In 2023, clubs paid USD 888.1 million in agent service fees, the highest-ever amount and an increase of 42.5% on 2022
For the first time, clubs in women’s professional football spend more than USD 1 million in agent service fees
English clubs were the number-one spenders by far, with a combined total of more than USD 280 million
The total spending on club agent service fees has reached unprecedented heights in 2023, with a total outlay of USD 888.1 million compared to USD 623.2 million last year according to FIFA’s Football Agents in International Transfers Report. This represents an increase of 42.5% compared to the level of spending in 2022, and even surpasses the previous record from 2019 (USD 654.7 million) by more than one third.
By far, the largest proportion of all club agents were employed by clubs in Europe, which also account for the lion’s share (86.6%) of global spending on club agents. Similarly, European clubs employed 86.6% of all engaging-club agents and 82.6% of all releasing-club agents. The largest amount of agent service fees were paid by clubs from England, with a combined total of more than USD 280 million. While not investing in releasing-club agents, Saudi Arabian clubs had the second-biggest spending on engaging-club agents with USD 86.0 million. Korea Republic had the greatest share of outgoing transfers with a releasing-club agent, with 31.6%. The number of international transfers with an agent acting on behalf of the player reached a record high in 2023 with a total of 3,353 transfers. This corresponds to 15.4% of all transfers and represents an increase of 8.4% compared to 2022.
For the first time ever, clubs in women’s professional football spent more than USD 1 million for the services of club agents, with a total outlay of just under USD 1.4 million. Club agents were present in a record number of 125 transfers, an increase of more than 20% compared to 2022.
The process for obtaining a licence and becoming a football agent under the FIFA Football Agent Regulations (FFAR) opened on 9 January 2023 and all individuals could apply for such a licence. During the period covered by the report (1 January 2023 to 30 November 2023), FIFA received 19,973 licensing applications. Out of the total number of exam applicants, 9,207 took the exam on one of two dates. The first exam was held on 19 April 2023, with testing locations at 138 member associations, and the second exam took place on 20 September 2023, with testing locations at 157 member associations. Out of the 9,207 people who sat the exam, 32.6% passed. As part of its objective to bring more transparency to the football transfer system, FIFA publishes an annual report on football agents. For the first time, due to the adoption and entering into force of the new FFAR, the report not only presents extensive analyses of football agents’ activity in international transfers, but also provides insightful information about the newly introduced licensing system.