European football chiefs want to introduce a cap on agents’ fees amid growing concern at the amount of money flowing out of the game.
A “reasonable, proportionate cap” was among the steps yesterday recommended by the Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC), which comprises representatives of clubs, players, leagues and governing body Uefa.
English clubs paid £220m to agents in 2016, an increase of 38 per cent year-on-year, with Premier League teams alone accounting for £174m.
This month’s £15m transfer of Ross Barkley from Everton to Chelsea is alleged to have involved an agent payment of £7m, while Alexis Sanchez’s representative is thought to have asked £10m for facilitating his move from Arsenal to Manchester United.
The English Football League (EFL) has consulted its clubs in the three divisions below the top flight over concerns about agents. Premier League teams are also believed to be reviewing the role of intermediaries.
The PFSC listed a number of way in which world governing body Fifa’s deregulation of the agent industry in 2015 had failed, which included not improving transparency, causing “further disproportionate growth” rather than deflation of fees and giving rise to conflicts of interest.
“The PFSC endorsed a joint position on football agents/intermediaries, which is designed to shape policy change in this regard by potentially adding a cap on fees, introducing more transparency/accountability, and appropriate sanctions in case of infringement of the rules,” Uefa said.
Financial Fair Play rules are also on course to be strengthened in the summer, Uefa confirmed, following suggestions that clubs could have annual limits set on net spending.
Uefa said the PFSC agreed that squad size limits and a luxury tax or transfer tax –ideas previously floated by Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin – could also be implemented across Europe in a bid to address competitive imbalance.