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February 20, 2005



Well, not every player is Gary Neville. For him the wage might be the most important part. But for a lot of players other things might be equally important, pension schemes, good schooling for the children, a job for the wife, housing, etc.

If you're a defender in the Swedish league, playing in GIF Sundsvall or whatever, approaching 30 and wants to end your career abroad you have to rely on an agent to take care of the negotiating part as well as advertise the player to clubs outside of Sweden. Our friend in Sundsvall won't play for Man Utd or other clubs that can afford to have scouts travelling abroad to check out players and pay the players good monet (plus he's probably to old as well). He have to settle for Port Fail or Dundee United instead, and that makes a lot of difference.

Frank McGahon

Actually, Dennis, I'd say that the wage isn't the most important thing for Neville - he gives the impression that he'd play for United for nothing!

Seriously, though: I don't see how an agent would even be useful in relation to the things you mention. I don't imagine the likes of Pino Zahavi go around researching school league tables and interior design job vacancies. I doubt whether any football club has a pension scheme and the services of an accountant or pensions/investments advisor could be bought for a tiny fraction of the fee paid to agents.

As for the type of player you mention - the "honest journeyman" in the parlance - he isnt typically the principal source of exhorbitant agents' fees. These guys really clean up in the high profile cases. I'm thinking of Saha to United, for example. United wanted him, he wanted to go, the difficult negotiations were between the two clubs as to the precise transfer fee and Saha's agent had nothing to do with that aspect of the transfer. Yet he was paid £750,000.


If a (top) footballer wishes to justify having an agent, he need only look at Kieron Dyer.

If brains were chocolate, Dyer couldn't fill a smartie, his England selection is mystifying and the notches on his bedpost can be measured in multiples of his goalscoring record, and he's always injured. In short, an expensive useless little waster.

But his agent's good.

With a subtlety beyond Dyer himself, his agent has earned him THREE improved contracts by playing the Newcastle Board like a flute. No revolutionary techniques were employed: Just the tried and tested schtick of releasing stories to the tabloids of faked interest from a 'big club' (Newcastle IS a big club, we just don't win anything), then some quotes from 'friends of the player' about how much he'd love to stay, but he's flattered to hear of the interest, blah, blah, blah. Next moment a new 5 year contract and pay rise is on the table. Simple, but I'll say it again: Beyond the limited intellect/subtlety of Dyer himself. Louis Boa-Morte played the same trick at Fulham a few weeks ago, only using Newcastle as the false 'big club'.

GAH! (picture what I'm like when we HAVEN'T just knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup)

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