As late as the 1990s many professional footballers had not embraced the idea of working with a football agent. They relied on their parents, close relatives and friends to act on their behalf. The results were that they ended up being handed unfair deals by their football clubs.
A football agent is any person who identifies, gets and negotiates contracts and endorsement deals on behalf of a football player.
A good football agent goes further to provide timely advice to his client on matters such as financial management, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and leading a successful football career.
The agent is paid by way of a commission derived as a percentage of the contract. Some agents work for large companies while others are self-employed.
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What Do Football Agents Do?
Football agents have many duties and responsibilities, some of which are personal and specific to the individual footballer. Here are some of them.
Provides Information About Available Career Options
Many talented young footballers let their talents die because they lack information on available chances for career progression. Even if they had this information, they often lack the links to lead them toward such opportunities to showcase their talents.
Therefore a good football agent will be able to develop clear targets and career path for footballers to achieve the maximum available for him in his career.
Even the most experienced footballer cannot professionally negotiate their own contracts and transfers. A good football agent will do this on behalf of the footballer thereby allowing him time to concentrate on his improving on the pitch.
Provides Guidance and Keeps Footballers on Healthy Lifestyles
There are many professional footballers who come from poor backgrounds. Some of these players were not able to complete the basic education while others had poor parental guidance or abusive childhood upbringing.
Generally, they lack the proper life skills to manage the stresses that often faces the celebrity lifestyle of elite players. A good football agent will be able to provide guidance and advise them about good habits to keep them away from risky and self-destructive behavior like drug and substance abuse and overindulging.
Helps the Footballer Maintain Good Public Relations
Professional footballers are treated with high regards in the society. They are often sought after by the media and the general public. Therefore the public have high expectations of them not only on the field but also on their image and demeanor off the field.
Unfortunately, not many players are trained in created a positive image, therefore a football agent is charged with the role of advising the footballer how to keep a good image and connect with the fans in a positive way.
Helps in Financial Planning
Football is a career just like any other gainful employment. Money earned needs to be well planned and accounted for to avoid wastage. It is one of the duties of a football agent to give proper advice to the footballer regarding financial planning and money management.
Pros and Cons of Becoming a Football Agent
There are many football lovers that strive for a career in football, and for those who don’t quite have the skills on the pitch, player representation is always a viable option.
If becoming a player agent sounds exciting to you have a quick glance at our pro and cons of a career as the middle man and see if this wets your whistle:
Pros of a Career as a Player Agent
Travel and Adventure
Being a football agent may require you to travel a lot as you move with your client. This provides you with the opportunity to tour the world and visit many places in the world.
Football agents earn a certain percentage of the contracts that their client’s sign. Those agents handling famous footballers often make a lot of money in such contracts and endorsement deals.
Sporting Events Accessibility
As an agent to a footballer, you will have the privilege to receive preferential treatment at sporting events.
Cons of a Career as a Football Agent
A football agent does not have defined working hours. He may need to work long hours including day and night. Sometimes he will be forced to work seven days a week without break.
Even when they are not on active duty, a football agent will be required to avail himself at a very short notice so as to respond to the needs of his client.