How Much do Football Agents Earn?

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One of the reasons you would want to become a football agent is surely the fact that if you are successful it can really show on your bank account.

There were and are still cases when a specific agent earns a million euros in a day – or even more. This of course is not actually payment per one day; it is a culmination of months or years of hard work, networking, lobbying, traveling and negotiating. For most agents those are just dreams they strive to achieve.

“You get paid when your athlete (footballer) gets paid,” is the rule of thumb as far as agents’ fees go. There are a couple of ways that agents earn their income: either in the form of representation or transfer fees. In most cases, it should be around 10 percent (%) of the total sum – but the numbers can vary.  Based on the numbers presented by FIFA, which keeps track of transfers between countries via its Transfer Matching System, as much as 28% of transfer fees in 2012 went to agents and third parties. The system recorded 11.555 international transfers, a 1 percent reduction compared to 2011. Fees in European football are supposedly among the highest in professional sport and are comparable with the professional sports league in the USA, where the players receive the highest salaries (in 2012/13 Kobe Bryant had an annual salary of over 21 million euro, while Leo Messi earned “only” 10,5 million).

Like we have already learned in our post about the representation contract between a football player and an agent, fees can be paid annually (monthly) or as a lump sum. Player’s agents should not take commission from bonuses and other benefits (car, flat, scored goals bonuses …).

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Make sure you get paid!

The agent’s business has its darker sides, but if you manage it correctly it can be really rewarding. As Sam Stapleton, an English licensed player’s agent – also known as Mr. Agent – wrote in one of his columns for the Daily Mail, you should ensure that you have as many deals in the pipeline as you possibly can and work on them. He says that the secret of success lies in planning your activities wisely, as there are usually only a few months in which you have to make your income for the entire year. There is also the matter of making sure you get paid, as there is a lot of clubs with financial issues out there. Agents should perhaps refer to the movie Jerry Maguire, where Tom Cruise is forced to shout “Show me the money“.

But nonetheless, you should also remember to be totally professional yourself. Like Esteve Calzada writes in his eponymous book (Show me the money): after years of excess and poor management it is time for all the people in the industry to contribute to a more positive and optimistic image of his area of business. It’s no secret that bad things happen, but they are the minority. It’s up to everyone involved to make sure he does his best to be purely professional. The best deals are not (always) about the money. Think of the long(er) term!

Can you earn more than the best players?

The answer is not simple, but it’s probably a “yes”. For instance: when Luka Modrić moved from Tottenham to Real Madrid, a story broke out in the Croatian press about a civil contract (not to be mistaken with a representation contract!) entered into between him and Dinamo Zagreb’s boss Zdravko Mamić, which allegedly brings the controversial Mamić 20 % of all earnings Modrić gets in his career. The player reportedly earns 4,5 million a year in Madrid, which means that his “unofficial” agent – who brought him to Zagreb when and believed in him all the time – will get the same money in the course of five years (the length of the contract signed). Imagine having more players like that!

Make a plan, stick to it

For newcomers, the “game” starts at a low level, with young players and no real income. But with good, planned work and a clear strategy things can soon pick up and evolve. The important thing is to get the player’s (and club’s) full trust and keep your eyes open for all potential opportunities that may come around. It’s not an easy business, but it’s a huge market out there. Take advantage of it – and let be of assistance. With “Hire an Agent” – a revolutionary system that allows players to hire football agents – the opportunity of making additional money (income) has never been so close.

Are you a footballer trying to find new career opportunities?

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