Do You Need a Soccer Agent or Go It Alone? Pros and Cons
... NEVER pay an agent any money. A legitimate agent will be paid by the club or promotional company that hires you.
There are many considerations when choosing a sports agent.
If you are hoping to play in a particular country, it may be helpful to find a soccer agent who is either located in that country or who has a proven record of placement with the clubs you are interested in.
You can contact as many potential representatives as you like.
There are many considerations when choosing a sports agent. They need to be familiar with the general pay rates for other soccer players. Depending on the size of the club and location this pay scale may be very different.
Ask to review their standard contract before you meet. It is always a good idea to have someone else review this with you. If you can afford an attorney, it is worth the investment to have one review the contract.
Look at such items as the length of time the contract lasts. Is there language in the contract addressing termination? By the agent? By You? What period of time does the contract cover? What happens to the contract if you aren’t signed with a team or get injured?
Some agents only sign players who have already established themselves - either by being a part of a top well-recognized academy or by having played for a professional or semi-professional team.
Ask for a copy of their contract and time to review it. If the agent is giving you a sense of urgency in signing, take that as a red flag.
You are signing a CONTRACT. Make certain you have read it thoroughly. You may be promising them anywhere from ten percent of your salary or more. The amount may vary depending on whether it is for an employment contract or an endorsement contract.
If you are just starting out, there may not be a benefit to signing with an agent.
If you are already in negotiations with a club, you may be better off speaking with an attorney to review the proposed contract than to sign an agent to do so on your behalf.
Check if the contract is exclusive or non-exclusive. If you have an exclusive contract with a soccer agent, then you can only work with that one individual or group for the length of time specified in your contract.
If you sign a non-exclusive contract, you can reach out to more than one person at a time and have them work with you to place you with a club.
Questions you may consider asking might include:
- Information on their educational background
- Informational on their experience representing players
-Was there ever an investigation opened against them?
- If yes, when did it occur? What were the charges and what was the resolution?
-How many clients do they represent? (Ask to see a client list and where these players have been placed)
-What percentage do they take?
-What term is their contract?
-Are there circumstances that allow you to exit the contract without penalty?
-What services are included in your package? (tax advice, endorsements, public appearances?)
-Will the agent you meet with be the one representing you?
-Will they be the one negotiating your contract?
-What actions do they take to endorse a player when they are off the pitch?
It is easy to claim you are an agent. There are a lot of scammers out there who are happy to take your money and give you promises of opportunities to be seen. There is no requirement they need to be attorneys and many may have little or no formal training or certifications.
Above all else: I ALWAYS RECOMMEND THAT BEFORE YOU SIGN ANY CONTRACT, YOU SHOULD HAVE AN ATTORNEY REVIEW IT FOR YOU.
Article by Teesta Sisodia-Sullivan, Attorney and Founder of Go Soccer Pro