The latest publication of spending on agents' fees by Football League clubs has revealed that clubs committed a total of £21.7m during the 2011/12 season.
Championship clubs accounted for £18.7m of this total, with League 1 and League 2 clubs spending £1.8m and £0.9m respectively. Clubs committed to pay agents in 702 (22%) of the 3,144 player transactions that took place.
Five clubs did not spend any money on agents’ fees during 2011/12 (Hartlepool United, Accrington Stanley, AFC Wimbledon, Barnet and Crewe Alexandra) while a further 22 clubs spent less than £25,000.
In announcing the figures Football League Chairman, Greg Clarke, said:
“While £21m is a lot of money leaving the game, it should also be noted that a considerable amount of this total has been spent by a small number of clubs. In fact, almost a fifth of the overall figure was spent by one club alone.
“Where such spending forms part of a sustainable business plan it shouldn’t be of great concern and supporters should be encouraged to see our clubs committing themselves to the new Financial Fair Play regulations that will take effect across all three divisions in the new season.
“In time, these rules will require clubs to be more circumspect with regard to their spending and may help reduce the costs incurred in this area.”
The figures contained in this report include sums committed by clubs to agents directly, as well as sums paid to players (in accordance with their contracts) to enable them to satisfy their liabilities to their agents. Such payments are regarded as taxable ‘benefits in kind’ to the player and they form part of his earnings from the club.
The Football League (2010/11 figures in brackets):
• 935 (952) player transactions took place in League 1 during this reporting period. Of those 175 (176) involved the use of an agent.
• Clubs committed to pay £1,779,636 (£2,347,749) in agents’ fees.
• Hartlepool United did not commit any money in agents’ fees and for the second year running were the only club in League 1 to do so.