After recent reports regarding the transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United and the role of Mino Raiola, both the English FA and FIFA have issued a response.
The said transfer of Pogba to Manchester United saw Raiola earning an outrageous £41 million from the deal -almost half of reported total transfer fee.
FA chairman Greg Clarke said to BBC Sport: “If that’s what they’re [Manchester United] going to pay, that’s what they’re going to pay.
“They are accountable to their owners; they’re accountable to their fans.
“How much should we pay for players? How much should go to agents as a commercial transaction?
“If football wants to change that and limit the amount of money that agents get we’re going to have to sit down as a game, led by the professional game, the Premier League and the EFL and the clubs and talk about that.
“I just think picking on one transfer and demonising it is not that helpful. Knee-jerk reactions don’t often yield good outcomes. What we want is some thought about how much money stays in the game so it can be invested in long-term productive things.”
While speaking at the FIFA congress in Bahrain, Gianni Infantino said: “We have to look at transfer regulations, and everything that has to do with transfers, and increase transparency there as well – to discuss it with the players and with the clubs, to see how we can make all these transactions better.
“In the transfer window there is $3 billion circulating around the world. It’s a lot of money and we have to be transparent about these things.”
With the prices of players skyrocketing in recent years, FIFA and UEFA are both trying to implement regulations to put at least some restriction on the clubs and the amount of money they can spend.
Two of the main regulations are FFP (Financial Fair Play) and TPO (Third-party ownership), and the latter has been implemented for the same reason FIFA is now investigating Raiola.
Third-party ownership was banned in 2015 but numerous agents are using all of their imagination to find loopholes to exploit.
Pat Nevin, former Scotland international and ex-Motherwell chief executive, while appearing on BBC Radio 5, talked about his experience with shady agents and their ways of conducting business.
“I was in a situation when I was chief executive at Motherwell and an agent came in and he was trying to give us a player, I think it was from Nigeria,” said Nevin.
“I gave him the figure of what we were willing to pay for him – x per week, say £1,000 – and he said ‘yeah, that plus my money will be whatever’.
“I told him we wouldn’t pay him that – his player can pay it him. He ended up saying that if we gave [the player] £500 and him £500 then it is the same, £1,000. And I was thinking ‘I hope you’re never my agent’.”
I’m sure we can all remember Sam Allardyce and the manner in which he lost his job as England manager when he was taped while offering advice on how to get around TPO rules.
This kind of extortion from agents is hurting clubs and football in general.
Not only do clubs have to pay ever rising fees for players, but now agents are demanding an even bigger piece for themselves.
I believe that many of you, including myself, were a bit shocked by the €105 million that Manchester United paid for Pogba, but when the news broke out that Raiola got almost 50% of the deal I was enraged.
Players need agents as someone to look after their best interests and to help them develop and settle in new surroundings, but is someone like Raiola really responsible for the development of Pogba or is it the coaching staff at Juventus that did most of the work to make him one of the best midfielders in the Europe?
Another example that emerged is the transfer of Roberto Firmino to Liverpool. The reported transfer fee was around £29 million, but Hoffenheim only got £5.8 million! One fifth of the total sum! If this is normal than I must be mad.
FIFA, UEFA and all the national FA’s need to work, and work fast A new transfer window is closing in and there are already numerous reports of huge transfer fees and records about to be broken, with plenty of new Raiola’s ready to push the financial limits and bend regulations to their interest.