We can all agree that a footballer’s career rarely lasts more than 15 years. Within that time players need to plan a successful career path, manage their finances, help pursue a healthy lifestyle, and cultivate a commercially appealing image.
So, if you are planning to go pro, you might as well start thinking about getting a football agent/intermediary or a career development manager. So these are the reasons why you should at least consider getting one.
1. They distribute career, educational and employment information
In today’s World it seems one has access to all the important information for a footballer’s career. But, football players, especially younger ones, often do not have the knowledge and experience needed to know what’s best for them. That is why, a good agent will help them establish career goals and lead them along that path. An agent will also communicate with team owners, managers, coaches, and other individuals. Primarily, agents negotiate contracts for their clients but a football agent can be much more than that.
2. They help footballers develop and maintain a long-term healthy lifestyle
Now, the agent is definitely not a coach, but a good football agent will have parental concern for the footballers. Lots of players will have come from difficult backgrounds or quit the education system early and are left with few of the life skills required to deal with the stressful life of a successful footballer. This is where a good agent can step in and steer them away from bad lifestyle habits – like partying, gambling etc. Agents should always be thinking about their clients’ future and what’s best for them.
3. They work on your image
Footballers are public persons and as they become more and more successful, the media and public eyes are upon them. Having an agent can help since they can offer support and advice in maintaining a positive image in the public and a good connection with the fans. In today’s world of social media, footballers can share at the click of a button and they would often enjoy a good marketing advice before posting.
Yet, a decision to work with an agent should not be a given. In football, there are few figures more divisive or controversial than agents. Unfortunately, they are mostly seen in the media spotlight during high-profile transfers and contract negotiations and as a result, public perceptions are far from favourable. News stories of high profile players firing their agents also appear often. Players should also make sure of the time the agent will spend marketing their other clients. And a guarantee for honesty, if possible and if any.
Let’s face it, professional footballers do not have that much time for other activities. They are on strict time schedules, strict diets and have a limited social life through the season. Managing their own career on top of all the training and match preparation is not an easy task. Being a good agent requires financial and legal knowledge plus great networking skills. A player with a full season of football ahead of them rarely has the time to acquire them all.
If you are serious in going pro and focusing all your efforts into it, getting an agent is a sound investment as any.
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