An agent is someone who handles matters off the pitch for the players (their clients). Agents are more often a part of an agency and most certified agents have a vast portfolio of players they represent. A football agent is any person who identifies, gets, and negotiates contracts and endorsement deals on behalf of a football player.
A good football agent goes further to provide timely advice to his client on financial management, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and leading a successful football career.
B. WHAT DO FOOTBALL AGENTS DO?
Football agents have many duties and responsibilities some of which are personal and specific in nature to the individual footballer. The duties agents engage in are as follows;
- Provides Information on available career options for footballers: Many talented youth footballers experience difficulties in enhancing their talent potential due to a lack of information on available possibilities for career progression. Agents always have the links to lead them toward such opportunities to enable them to showcase their talent.
- Helps the footballer maintain good public relations: The reputation of footballers is usually very high in society as they are generally sought after by the media and the general public. This means that the public has high expectations of footballers on the field and their image and conduct off the field. Therefore, an agent plays a vital role in advising the footballer to keep a good image and connect with the public.
- Provides guidance on the healthy lifestyle of a footballer: The lifestyle of a footballer plays a significant role in the performance of the player on the pitch. This means that a healthy lifestyle can keep the footballer at the optimum level of performance for a long time. Football agents, therefore, provide guidance on the methods the footballer can use to maintain a healthy way of living. This entails football players abstaining from abusive practices like drug consumption, excessive alcohol, etc.
- Provides information on the financial planning of the footballer: Football being a gainful employment means that footballers earn money in exchange for their services. Such money needs to be well planned and accounted for to avoid wastage. Therefore one of the duties the agent needs to render is to give proper advice to the player as regards financial planning.
- Contract negotiations: Agents help clients in the negotiation of their contracts with football clubs. Because they have the time, they stand in a better position to examine offers in their client’s best interest, taking into consideration the surrounding circumstances per offer.
- Sponsorship deals: Endorsement deals are one of the avenues through which football players earn more money. Just like contract negotiations, so is the importance for an agent to handle endorsement deals on behalf of the player. Agents stand a better chance to understand and evaluate the terms of endorsement deals than players themselves.