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Volume 7 No. 149

Finance

A report released by FIFA revealed that intermediaries or agents were paid a total of $548M so far this year across 3,844 int'l transfers, according to CNN. Since '13, agents have picked up a total of $2.14B. The report analyzed data from all global football transfers in the past five years. Close to 20% of int'l transfers in this five-year period involved an agent, with individual players "more likely to use them than clubs." In terms of countries, Italian clubs "most commonly relied on agents for incoming players" in '18, with over 45% of the countries 175 transfers involving intermediaries. England was second, although agents that were employed by English clubs "were the highest-earning," accruing a total of $155.8M so far this year. Agents connected with European clubs accounted for 96% of the money paid to intermediaries in '18. Currently, anyone is able to act as an agent on behalf of a player, but it was reported that FIFA is "planning to reintroduce exams for agents," which were previously ditched in '15 (CNN, 12/13).

League Two side Bury announced a takeover on Tuesday, according to David Conn of the London GUARDIAN. It said that its owner, Lancashire‑based property developer Stewart Day, "had handed control to Steve Dale, about whom the club statement said little," beyond that he is "a very successful businessman." More details about Dale and his businesses were "promised imminently." A club spokesperson said that Dale "had been retired in recent years because of a severe illness, from which he has been given the all clear." The spokesperson added, "Mr. Dale decided to return to business in a more philanthropic way, helping younger people and others who have lost hope. Having heard about Bury, he felt he could bring business acumen to the club ... and resolve the problems the club has been facing." Bury’s announcement acknowledged that last season’s relegation from League One "hit the club hard," causing "cash flow issues" at a club that "periodically skidded" toward financial difficulties since Day’s ownership began in May '13. The U.K. Pensions Regulator "is also understood to have been in contact with Bury" after money deducted from players' wages for contributions was not "in fact paid into their pensions." In a letter from the pension provider, one player was reportedly informed that "five months’ contributions, between last December and April this year, were not fully paid into his pension" (GUARDIAN, 12/13).