There’s a lot to be said about the widening gap in financial prowess between the Premier League and the Championship, but not so much is said for the gap between the Championship and League’s 1 and 2. With TV deals becoming even more lucrative in the Championship, clubs in League 1 and 2 are fighting a continuous battle against Financial Fair Play rulings and their fans expectations.
Today, we were given a clear indication of that gulf between the Football League’s top tier and the two divisions below. It’s an unlikely source of information, but I think it represents a huge issue in the game. Agent’s are renown for pocketing as much money as they can from each and every deal, representing a vast number of clients and not usually caring much for what the player wants. Of course, I’m sure not every agent is the same, but that’s the picture that is painted by club officials and former players.
Anyway, on with the figures. Obviously, the Championship clubs shelled out the most with £18,567,305 finding its way to the pockets of agents. What’s the difference between the Championship and League 1? £16,338,286. A staggering amount of money when you consider the difference between League 1 and League 2 is just £1,554,982, which is a far more understandable figure.
What does this mean?
A variety of things. For one, it means that £21,502,362 has left the Football League, never to be seen again. That might sound slightly over dramatic, but when you consider Bury FC needed £1,000,000 to save themselves earlier this year, the fact that a far superior amount of money was directed towards agent fee’s, it’s sickening. With FFP rules and the fore mentioned increase in TV revenue for the Premier League and Championship, lower league club’s need to hang on to as much money as they can.
On the other hand, the amount given to agent’s has dropped over the past 12 months – albeit by only just shy of £170,000. I hope this continues in the coming years, but as I’ve mentioned a few times in this article, with more and more money being pumped into the game the agent’s will want it more and more.
What can be done?
I’d like to see agents as we know them scrapped. As drastic as that sounds, there is some method behind the madness. The current crop of agent’s mostly seem to be working with ill intentions. In all honesty, I can’t understand why any player over the age of 21 or below the age of 18 would ever want to appoint an agent. Footballer’s wages are no secret, and I’m sure that if they were forced to then player’s could negotiate contracts just fine by themselves.
I’d like to see the PFA take more responsibility. If the PFA employed, approved and assigned agents to players in need then the system would be less ‘corrupt’ and at least a portion of the money handed out to the agent’s would stay within the game. I don’t know the fundamental’s of how that would work, but I’m sure something could get sorted out if they sat down and tried to address the issue.
If you’d like to see the full breakdown for yourself, the stats can be found here.