The Football Stakeholders Committee and the FIFA Council unanimously endorsed last year a series of reform proposals concerning football agents with the aim to protect the integrity of football and prevent abuses.
These measures were the result of an extensive consultation process with stakeholders (players, clubs, leagues and member associations), as well as agents who were invited to several consultation meetings.
The overarching objective here is to improve transparency, protect player welfare, enhance contractual stability and also raise professional and ethical standards. In other words, to eliminate or at least reduce the abusive and excessive practices which unfortunately have existed in football.
FIFA, as football’s governing body, has the responsibility to address and regulate these matters. We are aiming for a system of balanced and reasonable regulation, instead of the law of the jungle currently in place, with conflicts of interests rife and exorbitant “commissions” being earned left and right.
In the last year alone, football agents earned USD 653.9 million in fees, four times more than in 2015.
The reform package therefore includes several measures concerning agents:
establishment of a cap on commissions to avoid excessive and abusive practices;
limitation of multiple representation to avoid conflicts of interest;
reintroduction of a mandatory licensing system for agents to raise professional standards;
creation of a FIFA Clearing House to guarantee better financial transparency;
establishment of an effective FIFA dispute resolution system to address disputes between agents, players and clubs;
disclosing and publishing all agent-related work in transfers, to increase transparency, improve the credibility of the transfer system and support the implementation of new regulations.
All these proposals from FIFA on agent regulation are sensible, reasonable, rational, proportionate and necessary to protect the interests of players and the wider interests of football. They are also in line with sentiment repeatedly expressed by institutions such as the European Commission and European Parliament.
FIFA is currently developing these proposals to be turned into regulations. Once again, this work is done in consultation with the football stakeholders, including agents’ representatives.