The term is just what is sounds like: the amount spent by teams on agents while transacting deals. And in the case of the Premier League, as one might imagine, it’s a big number.
The English Football Association released figures on Friday citing a record amount of 174 million pounds ($215.8 million) paid by Premier League clubs to agents from February 2, 2016, to January 31, 2017, which covers the last two transfer windows.
Those were the first opportunities for Premier League teams to spend monies generated by the three-year TV deal worth 8.3 billion pounds ($10.3 billion) that was brokered in 2015 and kicked in last year. The total represents a 34 percent increase on the $161 million spent by those clubs on agents in 2015, which is the most recent full year included under the previous 2013-16 TV deal worth $6.2 billion.
Manchester City led the way by paying $32.6 million to agents. Second was Chelsea at $31 million, Manchester United placed third with $23.6, Liverpool ranked fourth at $17.1 million, and Arsenal came fifth with $12.6 million. At the bottom were promoted clubs Burnley ($3.2 million) and Hull City ($2.4 million).
Most agents’ fees are paid in stages, so the figures are the actual payments made by clubs during the period, not the total of fees due for all deals consummated during that time. League Championship clubs paid a total of $55.5 million to agents, with two relegated teams accounting for more than one-third of that sum. Newcastle United spent $12.9 million and Aston Villa $6.7 million.
Dutch agent Mino Raiola is reportedly due $21.2 million for just one deal, the $116-million transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United. He also got a cut, not specified, of the deal by which Henrikh Mkhitaryan moved from Borussia Dortmund to United, and a payment for brokering Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract with United. (He signed as a free agent.)
No wonder teams are allowed to make the payments in installments. At the top level, the agent life is a good life.
The Premier League declined to comment on the figures, citing them as internal matters for the individual clubs.