In 2015, FIFA replaced the FIFA Player’s Agents Regulations with the new Regulations on Working with Intermediaries. New rules make it much easier to become an intermediary. In this article, we will go through the steps on how to become one and give you some general tips.
What is an intermediary? FIFA defines an intermediary as:
“A natural or legal person who, for a fee or free of charge, represents players and/or clubs in negotiations with a view to concluding an employment contract or represents clubs in negotiations with a view to concluding a transfer agreement”.
The licensing system is no longer in use and has been replaced with a new one. Now intermediaries don’t need any qualifications. To start your career as an intermediary you just need to register at your national football association (FA).
To register you need to sign an Intermediary Declaration which states that you will work within rules of your FA and pay a registration fee. The registration fee is different in every country. In England, for example, it costs £500. Keep in mind that you will need to renew your registration every (calendar) year.
In addition to that, you will also need to meet the requirements of a “Test of Good Character and Reputation for Intermediaries” and provide a proof of no criminal record (usually attainable at your national police department). The test also contains provisions for intermediaries applying to work with or in relation to Minors.
Before engaging in any sort of intermediary activity on behalf of a player or a club, both parties have to agree on a Representation contract which must contain: the names of the parties, nature of legal relationship, scope of services, the duration, payment terms, the date of completion, termination provisions and signatures of both parties. Under the old Players’ Agent Regulations a representation contract could last as long as two years and could then be renewed if both parties agreed, however, under the new Regulations there is no maximum duration provided.
There are a few special rules for working with Minors. In order to work with Minors, intermediaries need to get a special authorization from their FA. They also may not receive any form of payment for services provided in relation to u-18 players. You can still enter into an agreement with them as long as the player’s legal guardians sign the contract.
The associations can add additional requirements as long as they fit the minimum standard set by FIFA. For example, the English FA has set a maximum period for a representation contract to two years. They also specifically process every intermediary who wishes to act on behalf of minors.
SKILLS AND QUALITIES
Since there are no entry requirements to become an intermediary here are some skills that will come in handy:
– Work experience with a sports agency: Contact agencies to see if there are any internships/jobs available. That way you will get to know people in the industry and learn about the procedures.
– Contacts within football industry: In this business, connections are very important. They help you reach more players and clubs making your job as an intermediary much easier.
– Legal knowledge: It might come as a surprise but an intermediary needs a lot of knowledge about contract law. It is common for intermediaries to have a law degree or some other type of law education.
– Business knowledge: The other part of your job will be negotiating so business knowledge is also very important.
– Football knowledge: You will need to understand the game of football and how to spot talent. After all, better clients mean more income for you.
– Social skills: Intermediary doesn’t only take care of contract negotiations. A lot of times he also takes the role of player’s PR. He often even gives advice to players regarding their personal issues.
Your income will depend on whether you work for an agency or for yourself. If you work for an agency you may be paid a fixed salary. But if you work alone your income will be hugely based on the income of your client(s) and your contract(s) with them. The new rules recommend a payment of 3% of the transfer fee involved or 3% of the player’s basic gross income. But since these are only guidelines, in reality, the percentage can still rise up to 10%. Intermediary’s salary can also be based on other player incomes that are not his wage. Player’s endorsement contracts are for example often part of the income.
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