The Agent - Welcome to the transfer window
bettingexpert blog editor. Always taking the alternative route to finding the value.
What does the transfer window mean for a player agent? On the blog today we bring you the first part in our new ongoing series - The Agent. Over the coming weeks we will follow the fortunes of a prominent Scandinavian player agent as he proceeds through the current transfer window.
And we want you to be involved. If you have ever been curious about what the life of a player agent is like and what takes place during the mid-season transfer window, send us an email (email@example.com) or Tweet us (@bettingexpert) and The Agent will tell us.
72 million pounds – that's a whole lot of money. It’s fair to assume that it's more than a decent yearly salary for every man walking this planet. In fact it's fair to assume it's more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetime. Nevertheless, it is the exact amount that was paid to player agents from the 20 Premier League clubs in England last season. In the coming months, I will give you all a rare view into this world, a world that is often associated with greed, mafia methods, double standards and immorality – yes – welcome to the world behind the curtain, welcome to the world The Agent.
Let me briefly introduce myself. I am a Scandinavian based player agent, and I am the co-owner of an agency that represents around 40 top players in Scandinavia, all of them playing at various clubs in a variety of different countries and leagues. I have never played any professional football myself, just always been a fan. Today I feel like a very privileged fan. Over the following months I will be giving you my view on different issues concerning the beautiful game of football, of course with a focus on what the beautiful game is like from the perspective of a player agent. Since we find ourselves in the middle of the January transfer-window, it's a great opportunity to discuss this very topic. But in the following months, I will also be giving you inside information on the life of an agent, how to become an agent and many subjects we all have an opinion on. Then at the beginning of February I will deliver a review on this current transfer window. I'm really looking forward to contributing my experiences to the BettingExpert Blog and am excited to enage with you, the readers as we navigate our way through the current transfer period and beyond.
The Transfer-Window and the agent
It’s Monday morning, just a day after the new year 2012 became a reality. I can still feel the limp grip of the hangover I inflicted on myself as I celebrated the coming of the new year. The alarm-clock says 07.30. The transfer-window is now wide open. In other words, despite the persevering hangover, I need to start working, I am already one day behind!
Luckily this is not my first transfer-window, actually it's my 15th as a “professional”. This experience is invaluable and I am very prepared for the frantic weeks ahead. Now that I have been through 15 transfer-windows, I can honestly say that this feels a little like playing football-manager on the computer. The main difference of course, is that you deal with real people, and you aren’t able to save the game and continue when you like. Or hit the reset button for that matter.
The Transfer-Window and the club
Back to the clock, it's now 08.00 and I am ready to get things moving. The blackberry has a full battery, synchronized with the calendar. I have my notes and task list in front of me and the destiny of 6 players and 6 clubs are in my hands. I have 30 days to make each of them happy.
From the club’s point of view it’s pretty standard what they are in the market for. The clubs fighting against relegation look for experienced players who can help them in this battle. Typically they want central players who are ready to take some responsibility, which will give the whole squad a little lift.
The clubs positioned in the middle of the league are only in the market for small adjustments, typically they will plan towards the next season and see if it’s possible to bring a couple of young prospects into the team for development. If they have players whose contracts expire in the summer, they might want to bring in their replacements immediately, to be sure that they have 6 months to adapt. Especially with players who come from a different culture.
The clubs fighting for trophies and European spots are the clubs that are ready to open their wallets, and hire a guy like me to find the player that can bring them a gold medal, or one of the very attractive league positions that will deliver them entry to either the Champions League or Europa. In the smaller countries these positions are a key for long term success, as it secures them a proportional very high income. Typically it’s a very strong centreback with leadership abilities, or the classical box-striker, who’s good for 10-15 goals the next 15-20 matches.
After 8-10 matches of the season, you often get the impression of which type of players you want to bring to a club in January. One of my very good contacts outside of Scandinavia, told me they were desperate for a goalscoring target-man, whose qualities should be in the penalty area. In our world, we call it a number 9. I have dealt with this club a couple of times before, so I already know about their financial situation. They are able to pay a decent salary and a transfer-fee if necessary. During the season I had proposed three number 9’s to them, however the club regarded none of them as possessing the quality they were looking for. As I am still engaged with the club in solving this issue, I have determined that this is one of my top priorities in this transfer-window, and it is certainly something I hope to solve. I need the commission to pay my bills, but most of all, I don’t want to ruin this good relationship between myself and the club.
The Transfer-window and the player
Obviously, this is just one issue of many for me. I am also under pressure from one of my most important clients, who also happens to be one of my best friends. Actually this guy helped me into this business, and we have stuck together ever since. He is a fantastic player with a very good resume. Unfortunately however, he went down with an injury at the beginning of the season. His contract expires in the summer, and I wouldn’t want anything more, than to give him an improved contract with a new club as a late Christmas present.
Just before Christmas, his current club gave us permission to talk to other clubs. They were not interested in extending his contract. I contacted many clubs who were looking to strengthen their squad in his position. One club was especially positive about him. My client and best friend was ecstatic about this opportunity and was really looking forward to meeting the manager and negotiating terms. Unfortunately they called us the day before Christmas, telling us they wanted to go with another player. My friend was obviously very frustrated, and as his manager, I can feel he sees myself as partly responsible for this disappointment. When you become too attached to your players as an agent, this is sometimes the consequence. As his friend, agent and adviser I need to take a certain responsibility and stay positive on his behalf. Unfortunately his situation is a difficult one due to his injury, combined with today's market. I really hope to find a club in my network that will sign him, otherwise the outlook for him could be grim. Perhaps for our friendship too.
Exciting days ahead
As you can see I have some very exciting weeks ahead of me, but likewise some very challenging ones. I look forward to sharing more of my experiences on the BettingExpert Blog as the transfer-window proceeds and receiving your questions. It's certainly an intriguing and demanding time of year.
Do you have a question for The Agent? Get involved and email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact Andrew on Twitter @AndrewBexpert
Follow The Agent on Twitter : @_The_Agent_
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Nice article indeed! Wow look at the names of Jol's brothers...Dick and Cock. Hahahah. Don't tell me his daughter is called Pussy. :D
Thanks Stalin.. Yes, you can represent players all over the world. If you get involved in an international transfer, you are under the jurisdiction of the FIFA regulations, not the national regulations.
Really nice article, I do have a question, now I am in 1st stage, getting the license of agent, but here is the big question, if I get the license from my resident country federation, can I represent players from other country like my home land country? Thanks and good luck!
@Marc: I would rather ask Martin Jol's brothers, do any of you know their names? It's Dick and Cock Jol, if that isn't humor i don't know what is. @David: My opinion on Mino Raiola, is that it's very obvious he somehow has been involved in something involving fast food! Besides that I think it is a very intersting subject to debate - i've also read that Paul Stretford who is representing the Rooney's, is a former vacuum cleaner salesman!
Hehe, yeah it's difficult to prize away a player from the BE team The Agent. In any case it was a very good read. I eagerly await more from this new section at BE. I frequently wonder how agents in the business view a character like Mino Raiola. Nowadays he represents star players like Ibrahimovic and was behind big transfers like that of Bergkamp to Inter. At the beginning he was a pizza boy at his father's restaurant, however, and once owned a McDonald's outlet too. He is fluent in a good number of languages though and that should be a top asset. I guess you do have to be a ruthless risk taker to thrive in the business.
Quality´s never been cheap (ask Martin Jol)...
@David - I don't think the club have the budget to attract players on your level!!! Also i think BE are putting a very high price on their players :)
There are a few talented strikers at the BE office The Agent. You might be able to hand out a few contracts there.
I think I know a guy...
It will be a subject i the nearest future.. At the moment i am busy making sure part 2 will be a happy one :).. If anyone's out there can find me a number 9, please don't hesitate to make suggestions.. Torres isn't good enought ;) Cheers
@ The Agent. I would love to hear from you which kind of education you took and how exactly you've become an agent. You said, that your friend helped you getting in the business, but now you have 40 players. How did you and your agency manage to sign all these players and how do you convince players to be managed by you? Is it mostly because of your network? Thanks!
@Matties, Good to hear! Yeah, it's indeed a harsh and tough business, but also much different than people sometimes expect it to be. If you have some topics you want my view on, you are more than welcome to make suggestions.. Have a nice weekend.
@ TheAgent. I understand and respect that! I dreamed myself to be an agent, but as I understand it's an extremly hard business. I will keep myself updated and read your next posts :)
I'm really looking forward to the upcoming posts. Really intrigued to see what happens, especially with The Agent and his friend, the player.
I am happy to hear that. @Matties, let me consider thatm it's a bit sensitive information. If you have any other subjects you want discussed, please le us know!
I really enjoyed this blog post. Very interesting to get the full story from an agent, instead of fragments in a 5 line media story.
Nice article, I'm looking forward to hear more from you! Is it possible to get some more information about clubs and players you talk about? Cheers M