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AGENTS: Annual Football League report

6 September 2013

Club transactions and agents' fees

The latest publication of Football League clubs' spending on agents' fees has revealed that clubs committed a total of £21.5m to agents during the 2012/13 season – £170,000 less than the previous twelve months.

Championship clubs accounted for £18.6m of the total, with League 1 and League 2 clubs spending £2.2m and £0.7m respectively. Clubs committed to pay agents in 776 of the 3,746 player transactions that took place.

Seven clubs did not spend any money on agents’ fees at all (Blackpool, Hartlepool United, Accrington Stanley, AFC Wimbledon, Morecambe, Barnet and Crewe Alexandra) with 24 clubs, Carlisle United included, spending less than £25,000 each.

In announcing the latest agents' fees figures Football League Chairman Greg Clarke said: "Again, this is a considerable amount of money to be leaving the game.  

"However, the real challenge is to ensure that such payments are part of a sustainable financial model with clubs only spending what they can afford.  In conjunction with clubs, we’re making real progress towards this goal and now have all three divisions operating Financial Fair Play regulations.”

In the Championship, the 2013/14 season represents the first accounting period against which Financial Fair Play sanctions could be levied (from January 2015).  In Leagues 1 and 2 clubs are operating the Salary Cost Management Protocol which limits spending on player’s salaries to 60% and 55% of turnover, respectively.

During this reporting period Carlisle United had a total of 37 player transactions, broken down as follows - 15 new registrations or transfers, 14 updated contracts, 1 cancelled contract and 7 loans.

A total of £16,700 was spent on agents in comparison to the £19,000 spent during the period 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012 - a reduction of £2,300.

Managing director John Nixon said: "In the ideal world clubs and players would be able to do their business without using agents. But, it's important for us to remember that there are occasions when we have to commission agents to do work, on our behalf, to help us to get the targets we have been looking at.

"The work they do is necessary in that respect but it is an area where all clubs are looking to minimise the activity, and the spend which follows on from it, as much as possible.

"It remains the case that we declare the full agent fee when a player is signed, even though we then go on to pay the agreed fee over the term of the contract. We still very much advocate that if a player decides to use an agent then he should pay the fee but, and as we have said before, football is a unique business where no two contracts are ever the same."

OVERALL 2012/13 FIGURES (2011/12 figures in brackets)

+ Between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 Football League clubs engaged in 3,746 (3,144) player transactions (new registrations/ player transfers, contract updates, contract cancellations and loans).

+ Clubs agreed to pay an agent in 776 (729) of these transactions.

+ League clubs committed to pay £21,502,362 (£21,672,010) on agents’ fees in this reporting period. 

+ During the 2012/13 reporting period 7 (5) clubs did not commit any money in agents’ fees. They were: Blackpool, Hartlepool United, Accrington Stanley, AFC Wimbledon, Morecambe, Barnet and Crewe Alexandra.

+ 14 (13) clubs paid less than £10,000 pounds to agents and 24 (27) clubs paid less than £25,000 over the period July 2012 to June 2013.


+ 1,153 (935) player transactions took place in League 1 during this reporting period. Of those transactions, 221 (177) involved the use of an agent.

+ Clubs committed to pay £2,229,019 (£1,930,836.38) in agents’ fees in 2012/13.

+ Hartlepool United and Crewe Alexandra did not commit any money to agent’s fees in 2012/13.

+ AFC Bournemouth accounted for just under one third of all League 1 activity during this period.

+ Coventry City were the only other club to spend over £250,000 on agents' fees during this period.

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