Premier League top cheese, Richard Scudamore, is hoping that new regulations regarding (those scumbag) agents are pushed through in time for the January transfer
The league is in serious talks with the FA about introducing some
new laws where clubs cannot pay agents.
"There is going to be a big shift so that only players are going to pay
agents," said Scudamore.
However, the Prem’ won’t be following the Football League’s lead
in their payments to agents known publically.
The agents’ role in football has come under intense scrutiny following
a series of accusations of a "bung culture" in the game, with Lord Stevens’ inquiry
into corruption in the sport expected before the end of the year.
Now, the Prem seems to be dragging its knuckles in comparison to the Football League, who has taken its own stance by introducing strict rules governing the payment of agents.
Twice a year the Football League publishes a list of what each of its clubs spends on agents, in an effort to improve transparency in the game.
Scudamore isn’t up for that though, saying that the clubs feel that making these records public would be giving an unfair advantage to their counterparts in Europe who do not have to reveal such payments.
Scudamore added: "We are in a very different market. Our clubs need agents more than Football League clubs. Our clubs argued that players need agents. Good agents are needed as these players are talented, young people who need help and guidance. A player that is going to enhance a Premier League club is going to be different kind of player that would enhance a League Two club. When you are dealing at that high end agents are necessary"
before adding "Agents know where the talent is and the likely cost of what that talent would be, but because of our commercial success, our clubs have got to the point where we are big enough and bold enough to say only players will pay agents. We decided this at our summer meeting but rather than introduce this as league rules lets ask the FA – who we have been working for a couple of years on this – to bring that into their rules so it applies to the whole of English football. But our clubs’ view, rightly or wrongly, is that there is a cost to acquiring talent at our level of football. There are three levels: there is the transfer fee, the agent fee and the contract. The amount which goes in as a transfer fee, an agent fee or wages is part of our competitive advantage over other clubs and they don’t want the individual elements displayed. That is not the same thing as being transparent to the football authorities. Where we absolutely agree with transparency is that every single piece of money that moves within that contract is made transparent to the football authorities – the FA and Premier League – so we can see where the money is going."
Got all that? Basically, Scudamore doesn’t want to annoy the big Premiership clubs tooo much. With the big boys threatening to bugger off and make their own super league, Scudamore is acutely aware that he needs to provide a sweetener in the deal… which in this case is this slight shadow in the quest for transparacy. So the FA, who seem to be taking a tougher stance on all this? Well, Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney threw his views in the ring.
"The role of agents in football has been highly controversial for a long time. There are rules and regulations but it has been largely unregulated in reality for a long time. As an FA board member I think we are probably getting reasonably close to introducing some new FA regulations on agents, but we (the Football League) have already done it this summer – our clubs are no longer allowed to pay agents. It’s the player who has to pay the agent. He acts for the player so the player should to pay. My guess is over the next 18 months well see the amount of money paid to agents go down because players aren’t not going to be willing to pay what clubs pay. I think what we did has helped to enhance the debate which will hopefully make it easier for the FA to put its regulations through. I think you are going to see England taking a lead for the whole of Europe in the relationship with agents."
Is all this just a big pile of rhetoric, or are the Premier League going to go in two footed on those dodgy agents? This won’t be the last we’ll hear of this. [Mof Gimmers]