I wish to become a football agent. How do I go about this?

In order to become a football agent in the UK and therefore able to represent professional footballers with England you must be licensed by the English Football Association.

What is the difference between the Football Association and FIFA?

The Football Association is the governing body for association football in England and deals with all issues concerning the sport in England from grass roots level up to the top level of the professional game. FIFA is the worldwide governing body for association football and deals with all aspects of football from a worldwide perspective. The FA is a member association of FIFA.

How do I obtain a licence to become an agent?  

The first stage of the application procedure requires that you download an application form from the Football Association’s official website.

You will then be required to complete the application and submit it to the Football Association along with your supporting documents.

Which documents will I need to attach with my application?

The documents which you will be required to submit with your application will depend on whether you are an English national or not.

If you are an English national all you will need to submit along with your initial application is a copy of the photo page and cover page of your passport proving this to be the case.

If you are not an English national you will need to submit the following things:

  • Proof of residency
  • Address details covering the last two years.

For this purpose you can provide such things as a utility bill, mobile phone bill, bank or building society statement, payslip etc.

You must prove your residency as of two years ago and your current residency if these are different. The one relating to your current residency must not be less than three months old.

CRB Checks

As football agents will often be dealing with young players and also to avoid corruption in the game once you have completed the initial application procedure and submitted all documents to the FA you will be required to undergo a full Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Check and pay all of the appropriate fees.

The Exam

All applicants who are deemed suitable following the initial application procedures will be invited to sit an exam.

The exam will be based on both the FA and FIFA Regulations concerning players and the transfer of players etc.

What is involved in the exam?

Currently the exam consists of twenty multiple choice questions with fifteen of them being based on international regulations and five of them based on national rules.

At what point will I be made aware of the results of the exam?

As the exam is based on current FIFA regulations marking will take place immediately following the conclusion of the exam so information on those who have passed the exam will be provided immediately.

What is the situation if I fail the exam?

If you fail the exam then you are able to reapply immediately and retake the exam again on the spot. If you fail again, however, you will be able to retake the exam again in a years’ time.

Are there any other issues to be aware of?

Professional Indemnity Insurance

According to Article 9 of the FIFA Players’ Agents Regulations you will be required to get yourself professional indemnity insurance. Professional indemnity insurance is standard in business where you provide a service and is basically insurance which covers you business against claims for loss or damage by a client or a third party if you have made some mistakes or if you are found to have been negligent in relation to some or all of the services which you are contracted to provide.

In this case the insurance is to cover you against claims of compensation from a player, club or another agent if you break FIFA Regulations.

I was told that I would have to provide a bond to FIFA – is this still the case?

It used to be the case that in order to become a football agent you would have to pay a £50,000 bond in order to protect yourself against claims from third parties. This how now been replaced with the requirement to obtain professional indemnity insurance.

FIFA Code of Professional Conduct

Each registered FIFA Agent will be required to sign the FIFA Code of Professional Conduct. This will be found as Annex 1 to the FIFA Players’ Agents Regulations and is required to be signed and returned to the FIFA before you will become a licensed agent.

What happens once I receive my licence from the FA?

Article 10 of the FIFA Players’ Agents Regulations

Section 4 of Article 10 of the FIFA Regulations states that as soon as the player’s agent has received his licence from the respective national association, he will be entitled to use the following designation in business relations after his name:

  • Players’ agent licensed by English national association.  

How do agents get paid by their clients?

There is no designated way which an agent will be paid but the two favoured paths are either a fixed annual agency fee or a specified cut of the player’s basic annual salary in relation to both footballing and non footballing commitments which have been set up by you as an agent.

What is the process once I have players under contract?

Once you have a contract with a particular player you must give one copy of the contract to the individual player and three to the FA.

There are standard player agency contract provided for by the FA which must be used by all agents.

For how long can I ensure a player is under contract with myself as his agent?

The maximum period of time for which you can contract to be the agent of a particular player is two years. You can however, continue renewing this every two years if both agent and player agree to this.  

If I obtain a football agents licence from the FA can I operate worldwide?

If you have been provided with a licence from the FA this means that you are a FIFA Registered agent and that you can have an involvement in transfer dealings concerning players on a worldwide basis. You have to apply to the FA and not FIFA simply because the way that FIFA wishes to issue the licenses is through the national governing bodies of which the FA is for England.