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Spend on football agents hits record high

Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland (by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)

Commissions paid to football players’ agents for international transfers have totalled $653.9m (€590m) so far in 2019, already 19.3 per cent more than in 2018, according to a report from Fifa.

The report used data from Fifa’s International Transfer Matching System, an online platform on which football association’s record player transfers. It said that agents had been involved in 3,557 of the 17,000 international transfers completed so far this year. More than 80 per cent of agent commissions have been paid by clubs from six European markets – Italy, England, Germany, Portugal, Spain and France.

In women’s football, 242 international transfers this year have involved agents, and spending on commissions has already more than tripled compared to 2018.

Channel News Asia reported that, in more than 90 per cent of transfers, agents’ commissions were less than $1m, with figures between $10,000 and $100,000 being “the most common scenario.”

Fifa is planning to cap agents’ fees from 2021. The Associated Press reported last month that a group of agents protested to the confederation that the plans were “anti-competitive and unlawful”.