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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 February, 2004, 11:44 GMT
How to become an agent
By Tom Fordyce

Don't tell me - you know this 16-year-old lad, and he's the best young footballer you've ever seen.

THE TRUTH ABOUT TRANSFERS
A man speaks on a mobile phone

What's more, you're just the person to steer him through his sporting career - you once ran a five-a-side team at the local sports centre, you're more than handy with a mobile phone and you own at least three ties.

The answer is clear: it's time to sack the old job and become a licensed football agent.

How do you make the dream a reality? It's not as hard as you think.

First, go to the Football Association's website at www.thefa.com, click through to the 'rules and regulations' section and go from there to 'players' agents'.

Here you will find a simple application form which covers just two sides of a piece of A4 paper.

You can also access a copy of Fifa's latest regulations on agents and a copy of a basic agent-player contract that you can use - if licensed - to officially sign up your first talent.

The FA say that the application process is currently on hold while they conduct a review - but this is how it works at the moment.

You will be asked to sit an exam designed to test your knowledge of Fifa and FA rules, so it's probably an idea to find copies of the handbooks and familiarise yourself with the contents.

The exam consists of 20 multiple choice questions, 15 on international regulations and five on national rules.

Acording to current Fifa regulations, marking takes place immediately after the exam, so you'll know if you've passed straight away.

If it's all gone wrong, you can reapply immediately and have another go - but if you fail again, you will have to wait a year until your next attempt.

Should you pass, you need to provide proof that you do not have a criminal record.

This shouldn't be a problem - your local police station is obliged to provide such verification under the 'subject access' section of the Data Protection Act.

But the process could take up to 40 days, so don't splash out on that new suit and silver-blue BMW 7 Series quite yet.

The final step is to get yourself professional indemnity insurance cover. This covers you against claims of compensation from a player, club or agent if you break Fifa regulations. In the old days you would have had to stump up a 50,000 bond to Fifa - but not any more.

Right - all you need to do now is sign the Fifa code of conduct, and you're off.

Your licence will be sent to you by the FA, allowing you to get stuck in on a worldwide basis with immediate effect.

As section four of article 10 of the Fifa regulations so snappily puts it: "As soon as the players' agent has received his licence from the national association, he will be entitled to use the following designation in business relations after his name: 'players' agent licensed by (country) national association'."

Get that lad under contract before someone else does. The longest you can sign him up for is two years, but that can be renewed again and again if both parties agree.

Work out how much you will charge for your services - either a lump sum each year or a specified cut of the player's annual basic gross salary.

Then make copies of the contract, give one to the player and three to the FA.

You're in business!




SEE ALSO
Transfer corruption 'rife'
30 Jan 04  |  Football
Can football clean up its act?
06 Feb 04  |  Football



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