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Premier League Clubs to Vote on Banning Agents 'Dual Representation''

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Apparently the Premier League are not happy that there's lots of money being lost to 'intermediaries' in deals that have involvement by agents that represent the player and a club in a transfer.



The Premier League is to vote on banning agents from representing both the player and the club during a transfer amid ongoing concerns over the huge amounts of money being paid to intermediaries.

The issue of so-called ‘dual representation’ will be discussed by the clubs at the Premier League’s annual general meeting on Thursday when they are also expected to ratify the move to introduce a winter break from late January and early February 2020.

With agents, it appears that the Premier League may be prepared to take a unilateral decision to ban the practice of ‘dual representation’ which is legal – and widespread – under current regulations. It was banned previously but that decision was reversed.

The aim is to try and limit the fees paid to agents and is part of a wider investigation into the way the representatives operate which has involved a working group being set up including Premier League chief executives and heads of recruitment. There has also been a debate over capping agents fees which have continued to spiral.

Dual representation was illegal in England but that was reversed when Fifa deregulated the way agents operate in 2015. It is estimated that the same agent acts for the club and the player in around two-thirds of transfers and also contract negotiations. 

This leads not only to higher fees being paid to the agents, accusations that they face potential conflicts of interest but also a suspicion that it can be used as a means of avoiding paying tax which is something the HMRC has flagged up.

Some clubs – especially, it appears, among the top six – have argued that restricting the agents will put them at a competitive disadvantageto their European rivals when it comes to trying to sign top players. The Premier League needs 14 clubs to vote in favour for the practice of dual representation to stop.

The amount of money spent by Premier League clubs on agent fees has risen from £115 million in the year before deregulation to last year's figure of £211 million, along with a huge increase in the number of licensed agents from 518 in 2015 to around 1,800.

Fifa and Uefa are both carrying out investigations into agents as the issue is recognised as a world-wide problem, but it appears the Premier League may be prepared to go alone, and take the lead, on the issue of dual representation.



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