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Fifa announces new measures to cap agent fees and player loans

With astronomical agent fees and the growing number of player loans seen as a scourge on the transfer system, Fifa is looking to tackle the issue with key steps "to protect the integrity of the system and prevent abuses.”

Soccer Football - FIFA Football Conference - Milan, Italy - September 22, 2019   FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the conference   REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

Fifa has announced new measures to limit agents’ commissions and loans of players as part of the ongoing process to reform the transfer system.

On Wednesday, football's world governing body stated that its Football Stakeholders Committee has endorsed “a series of key steps to protect the integrity of the system and prevent abuses.”

In relation to agents, the key measures include: “the establishment of a cap on agents’ commissions (10% of the transfer fee for agents of releasing clubs, 3% of the player’s remuneration for player agents and 3% of the player’s remuneration for agents of engaging clubs)”; and “the limitation of multiple representation to avoid conflicts of interest”.

Such measures will undoubtedly not be welcomed by high-earning ‘super-agents’ like Mino Raiola – who represents stars such as Paul Pogba, Marco Verratti and Gianluigi Donnarumma – and Cristiano Ronaldos main representative, Jorge Mendes, who also has Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, James Rodriguez and Angel Di María on his client book.

'Super-agent' Mino Raiola.
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'Super-agent' Mino Raiola.

New loan measures

In relation to loans, the Committee has endorsed measures “to prevent player hoarding and ensure that loans have a valid sporting purpose for youth development as opposed to commercial purposes”, with “limitations on international loans of players aged 22 and older”.

It has recommended that as of the 2020/2021 season, international loans will be limited to eight players in and out, going down to six by the 2022/2023 season, with a maximum of three loans in and three loans out between the same clubs.

Such limitations could have a major impact on the European football transfer market, where, the use of short-term loans has grown in recent years as means to “avoid the large fees typical for top players”, reported the Financial Times in August.

According to FT's analysis, the proportion of overall transfers made up by loans in the Big-Five leagues has grown from 6% in 1992 to 29% this year. While these short-term deals “carry less risk for clubs, they raise "concerns over career development”, the newspaper argued.

Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez became one of the most high-profile loans of the summer when he moved from Manchester United to Inter Milan.
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Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez became one of the most high-profile loans of the summer when he moved from Manchester United to Inter Milan.MIGUEL MEDINAAFP

Fifa’s ongoing transfer system reform

FIFA’s latest measures in relation to agents commission and loaned player caps follow several “key initiatives to reform the transfer system that are already being developed”, it said.

“The Task Force Transfer System established by the Football Stakeholders Committee continues its work, particularly with ongoing discussions concerning training rewards, squad sizes, transfer windows, fiscal regulations and rules about minors.”

Following the endorsement of these measures by the Football Stakeholders Committee, the next step will be their submission to the FIFA Council when it meets on 24 October.


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