It is common for the football industry to spark debates of moral scope whenever the signing of a star exceeds 100 million euros, or following the publication of some ranking of the highest-paid players, a relationship full of dizzying figures than their Promoters justify with a phrase that works for everything: it’s the market price, the ball business is so powerful that it’s capable of self-supply. It has happened that in recent times, without the explanations about the outrageous payrolls of footballers fully satisfying the sector more critical with the radical commodification of the transgaming.org, has grown under their shelter another category of billionaires that neither you even saw short. The representatives. A must-have figure to legalize any type of transaction, in recent years a corps of elite collectors of real fortunes has been set up for efforts that can last weeks or days. The podium is occupied by Jonathan Barnett, Jorge Mendes And Mino Raiola, but there are many more intermediaries, so many and so accustomed to collecting multi-million dollar commissions than the Fifa, a body which certainly does not shine for its honesty, has decided to intervene. “Regain control, ” they call it. The war is served.
Last week the FC Barcelona made public the signing of Francisco Trincao, Portuguese striker Sporting de Braga of a poor career. It’s a rough diamond, scouts say they’ve recommended their signing. Pending that this forecast of maximums is met, the truth is that the publication of the contract of sale by the Portuguese club, obliged to carry out that exercise of transparency because it is publicly traded, found that its price was 31 million euros and that , depending on variables of likely compliance, the intermediary of the transaction, not the player’s agent, could be remunerated with up to 7 million euros. The graceful is Jorge Mendes, representative of crowds, among them Cristiano Ronaldo And Jose Mourinho, whose tentacles could lead him to state rightly that nothing moves in Portugal without his consent. As stipulated, the Fifa in its rules of procedure on Player Agents, updated on April 1, 2015, but already obsolete, the recommended figure for each transaction “should not exceed 3%”. This is a recommendation and not an imposition. Obviously Mendes skipped it with Trincao.
FIFA aims to change the rules because
“right-handed and sinister commissions are exorbitant”
Mendes does nothing but most of his guild. In fact, the operation that led to the
FIFA to start rethinking its current legislation came in 2016 and did not carry the rubric of Portuguese but that of Mino Raiola, colleague of ex officio and profit. An intermediary famous for his shameful in defending his clients, the global commission he charged for the transfer of Pogba of the Juventus To Manchester United it was 49 million euros, a record that can hardly be beaten. Representative of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and self-made type (he started washing dishes in his father’s pizzeria), during the last winter window he again starred in another of his amazing operations, prototype the latter very suitable to hold the owner of this report. Namely: the Borussia de Dortmund signing to Norwegian striker Erling Haaland in exchange for 20 million euros, but adds to that appearance of normality the delivery of 15 million to Raiola commission and another 10 for the father of the creature, another classic, that of the dads wetting bread, of current football. Add to that the salary of eight million annuals for the footballer for four seasons. Why does Dortmund agree to such bleeding? This German club in particular is essentially a salesman, he knows that if the move goes well in the future Haaland’s handover will far exceed those numbers.
There are hardly any exceptions in the current market. The Real Madrid he also negotiated with the father of Odegaard to keep it and lately he has specialized in acquiring young people with supposed projection whose performance is an unknown at clearly inflated prices: Vinícius (between EUR 45 million and EUR 60 million according to sources), Jovic (60), Militao (50), Rodrygo (45), Reinier Jesus (for the subsidiary, 30), a rain of millions susceptible to the most blaming of criticism but which has gone unnoticed silenced by a philosophical isalist media apparatus condescending to power.
During 2019 alone the payment of commissions reached 591 million euros according to ‘Forbes’
The magazine Forbes published a summary report that reveals the figures handled by the world’s richest intermediaries. Your reading takes your breath away: Jonathan Barnett, agent Gareth Bale among many others and founder of the British company Stellar Group, is number one: in 2019 it obtained some 115 million euros in commissions. Mendes, with Joao Felix as a star move, it grazed 106 million, while the pinch for Raiola in a single year was 63.
FIFA wants to stop this spiral before the image of football deteriorates and causes hatred rather than devotion. Reducing the percentage of commissions, preventing an agent from representing both a footballer and a club to avoid conflicts of interest and creating bodies for greater transparency are three of their objectives. “FIFA has a responsibility to address this problem. In the current situation the law of the jungle reigns, with conflicts of interest too frequent and exorbitant commissions granted right and wrong. In the 2019, the commissions paid to representatives were 591 million euros, four times more than in the 2015“, reports FIFA. The representatives referred to have already announced that they are not planning to give in.
What does it take to be an intermediary?
The conditions imposed by FIFA to obtain the license and to be able to carry out intermediation tasks are elementary and do not require specific training. At the end of the bases that can be accessed through the official FIFA website, a registration is included that must be completed to become an agent in exchange for later payment of an annual fee. “I declare that I enjoy an unimpeachable reputation and confirm, in particular, that I have never been convicted of economic or violent crimes,” says one of the paragraphs. “I declare that I have no contractual relationship with leagues, associations, confederations or FIFA that could lead to a possible conflict of interest,” says another.
Under these precepts it is normal for family (usually parents or siblings) or friends to take over the intermediation jobs of players who move astronomical amounts of money, either through their payroll or the money generated from each change of Club.
The regulation specifies the recommended percentage to be carried by intermediaries, either advising the club or the player, after the transaction has been made. This is 3 percent. The latest regulations date from April 1, 2015 and recommend but do not impose. FIFA wants to toughen that formula so that it is fulfilled and not constantly jumped as it does now.
One million commission for a cadet
One of the least uplifting spectacles of today’s football is to stroll through the transgaming.orgs cities of elite clubs on Sunday mornings and witness the parade of scouts and representatives in the search for children for recruitment, sharing space with parents who think of their children not as people to educate but as products to exploit or to deposit old frustrations. There are currently 12-year-olds with an agent, when the first professional contract is signed by law at 16. In the FC Barcelona moral dilemma occurs on a daily basis. On the one hand, retain the talent of the players trained in the Masia it is essential to compete with other clubs also with great financial resources, on the other hand is where to place the limit so as not to tarnish a discourse, that of values, increasingly difficult to sustain. These days the representative of a cadet player (14-15 years) is asking for a commission of 1 million euros for “his footballer” to remain at the club. The question is as follows: to access and contravene any ethical principle of conduct, preaching with a nefarious example to the rest of the players, or to let the child go, fitting criticism from those who will accuse the club of letting slip the (alleged) new jewel of the crown. It’s easy to know which of the two options is best. Or it should be.