Peak inside the pocket watch of most major sports stars and you’ll see the lack of minutes they have for themselves. With their whole life off the pitch being centralised on recovery, family and preparation. 

Alternatively, those playing non-league usually have a day-to-day vocation that’s their main source of income and football is more a side hustle, giving them little time and energy to focus.   

This sees an almost ant like colony mentality formed as the personality has a team either around the club or in their actual home which cooks, cleaners and even social media executives to de-clutter and provide some organisation to what is a very busy schedule.  

Another way this is done is by having an agent to deal with all the fine print admin when it comes to the business between the club and a player.  


  • Knowledge of contract law is desirable 
  • Good etiquette to build and maintain professional relationships 
  • Time management 
  • Organisation 
  • Adaptability as your clients and the situation change by the day 
  • Shrewdness for negotiations 
  • Excellent communication skills 


It’s a very tough job if you think about it. You almost need the dexterity of an octopus and the adaptability of a chameleon because you’ll have a range of clients from different backgrounds, at different stages of their career, dealing with multi-cultural club owners. 

That’s why you must ensure clear communication as you’re aiding very fine details of someone’s livelihood. Representing your clients’ wishes and demands during negotiations and ensuring everything that’s suggested is suited to their personal and career needs. 

Keeping your eye out for the next generation of talents in the industry so you can help guide them form a career and provide beneficial advice at such an early stage. Most football careers don’t have a long life so it’s paramount you get the best for them out of every deal. 

Being tasked with representation in the media when your client isn’t present. You want to make sure you don’t put incorrect words and views in their mouth or let slip of any secretive information.  


Ideally It helps knowing someone already in the industry, if you fancy a fast track. But you can also apply for openings at various agencies. 

There aren’t any huge demands prior to attaining the role, other than signing up with the Football Association who will conduct a background check and wellness policy to determine your eligibility. This costs £500 upfront with an annual resubscription charge of £250. 

It’s worth noting that the more sought-after agents had some degree of law knowledge, especially contract law. As when a player is effectively putting their career in someone else’s hands, they want to make sure they’re as safe as possible. 


Agents Agencies 
Jorges Mendes ICM Stellar Sports 
Pini Zahavi  Unique Sports Group 
Paul Stretford Two Touch Agency 
Jonathan Barnett ARETÉ 
Pere Guardiola Family & Football 


Agents are more often than not paid via commission which is usually 1-10% of the fee agreed between the two parties for the player’s services. Those at the pinnacle my even demand a separate fee for themselves. 

Take Mino Riola for example, a controversial figure currently protesting football’s impending agent fee cap of 10-13% of a transfer fee. He’s currently placed a 43-million-pound agent fee on any club looking to sign Norwegian starlet Erling Haaland this summer. 

The increasing amount of talent seen in the lower professional league and beyond into non-league territory has seen a rising case of young, promising players being snapped up by the bigger clubs for some pretty big transfer fees, especially English players. 

The earning of being an agent of a Premier League player ranges from £1,200 – £550,000 per player subject to ability. 


Through experience and exposure to the industry, clients and potentially all the showbiz extravagance of the A-list athletes, you’ll have learnt how to adapt to various personalities. Understanding their wants, needs and how to potentially reassure them if anything in their career goes awry. 

You’ll have a greater understanding of how business deals and contractual obligations are set and ultimately met. 

After many negotiations you’ll see your business integrity start to harden. This doesn’t mean you’ll be more combative in the boardroom, rather doing more to get what you feel your client needs in a diplomatic way. 

Your credibility in the sector among players, clubs and sporting bodies will give you an incredible oasis of networks to provide the nourishment you need for your career longevity. 


As time goes on, football transfers seem to be getting increasingly larger, especially over the last 10 years where a big money signing went from 40-60 million to in excess of 100 million. I can’t see this inflating much more and I expect it would be capped as well as agent fees in the near future. 

It’s common for you to be associated with an agency at first. But as you become more reputable and successful you could either tango alone or maybe start your own agency with new connections you’ve unearthed. 

There’ve also been studies which show how the role is evolving. Agents these days seem to be taking more on and off their client’s shoulders, enabling them to narrow their focus onto their craft. These include: public relations, constructive counselling, financial planning and improving the relationship between player and club 


I’d hope that after you’ve pulled your eyes from this article, the behind boardroom doors life of a football agent will seem much clearer to you.  

It’s a lifestyle that could see you riding high with sporting royalty. But where ever you end up, it’s important to know that your work provides security to a career and understanding to a confliction of contractual choice.  

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