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SBD Global/April 17, 2013/International Football

Football Agents Took Home $163M In Fees From Clubs, FIFA Research Discovers

FIFA research published on Tuesday showed that football agents "took a bigger cut" from int'l player transfers in '12, even as trading in the billion-dollar market fell by $290M, according to Graham Dunbar of the AP. Player representatives took $163M in fees from clubs, at 28% average commission, "as their total take from cross-border transfers rose" $33M in '12. In an annual survey, FIFA subsidiary Transfer Matching System stated, "2012 witnessed a greater involvement of intermediaries." English clubs "spent the most," with FIFA processing $59M in fees to agents in int'l deals. Italian clubs paid $41M and Russian clubs $23M, and "agents also banked payments from players" which FIFA's system didn't record (AP, 4/16). BLOOMBERG'S Tariq Panja reported that "clubs paid fees to recruit players from other teams" only in 14% of cases, while 70% involved out-of-contract players. The remainder was made up of loan agreements. FIFA "didn’t say why spending was down" from a year earlier, though some of the reduction "may involve European teams," football’s biggest spenders, "trimming outgoing costs in preparation to meet new break-even regulations" (BLOOMBERG, 4/16).

BRAZILIAN TALENT IN DEMAND: REUTERS' Keith Weir reported "Brazil's reputation as a source of top football talent was underlined" on Tuesday by a report showing that Brazilians were the most heavily traded players on the int'l transfer market last year. TMS General Manager Marc Goddard said that "it was too early to say whether the global economic crisis or pressure on clubs to curb losses was dampening the market." Oscar, who joined Chelsea from Internacional last July, "was one of almost 1,500 players with Brazilian nationality" involved in int'l transfers in '12 (REUTERS, 4/16).
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