How much do you reckon Premier League clubs spent on agent fees between October 2014 and September of this year.
Well probably add £10,000,000 on to that figure…and double it!
Unbelievably, over that twelve month period, a staggering £129.86m was splashed out by the 20 teams in the top flight on player representatives.
Yes, you did read that correctly – and it’s actually a rise of £15,000,000 on last year, although seven teams did manage to reduce their overall spending.
To put that in to context, Tranmere’s record signing of all time is Shaun Teale at £450,000. So, you could buy him 288.6 times for the same amount of money.
So who spent the most cash?
Surprisingly it was Liverpool – they topped the list of Premier League clubs on just over £14m, ahead of Manchester United and (unsurprisingly!) Manchester City.
Now I am not an agent. I am not privy to the exact ins and outs of each transfer or just how much work they do to push a deal through.
But that is a significant amount of money. Tranmere’s turnover for 2013/14 (the last financial year there are records for) was around £3m. That is less than 17 clubs spent on agent fees!
This is not to say I don’t agree with the player representatives being paid by the way. Far from it.
They do their job, and it is an important one. They help broker deals from both the club and player point of view. Somebody has to do it, and they should be paid for their time and services.
So perhaps it is just the price of buying the best players so that you can compete at the very top of the game (although for Liverpool, that has not necessarily proved to be the case).
And of course, agents will argue they are worth that figure. It’s like a player’s wage. If that’s what the market are paying for their services, then they are value for money.
So in a sense, maybe it is down to the clubs to try and lower the amount. If they want to try and save some money, that is the way to go about it.
And Tranmere are actually a trend setter. In the 2009/10 season they spent precisely NOTHING on agent fees. Granted, that was not a very successful year for the club. In fact, very few have been! But it shows it can be done.
The club then ends up with some seriously important money that can be invested elsewhere. It could go into grassroots, making the players of the future, or straight into strengthening the squad for the current campaign.
Football is surely the winner if that money is staying within the game.
Either way though, those fees are so astronomical and high that it only goes to show how far removed the sport is at the top level compared to the lower reaches of the Football League and below.