MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Soccer clubs spent $500.8 million in fees to agents in 2020, more than in the previous year, despite a drop in spending on transfers, FIFA said in a report published on Wednesday.
FIFA said that club spending on transfer fees shrank for the second year in a row, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that “this decrease did not carry over to spending on intermediary service fees, which remained on the same level as in 2020 and even slightly increased by 0.7%.”
European clubs accounted for 95.8% of the total spent on ‘intermediary service fees’, with clubs from England ($133.3m), Germany ($84.3m), Italy ($73.5m), Spain ($34.8m), France ($30.3m) and Portugal ($29.3m) responsible for 77% of the total sum worldwide.
The FIFA report comes as world soccer’s governing body is seeking to alter regulations for football agents.
A third draft of the changes has been distributed and is out for consultation — it includes an exam and licence scheme and caps on payments which would also have to go through the FIFA Clearing House system.
Agents’ fees would be capped at 10% of all transfer-related payments and 3% of a player’s salary for services to a player.
The proposals have been criticised by a number of prominent agents but are set to be put to FIFA’s ruling council for approval in the first half of 2022.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis)