FIFA Agent Regulations: Stick or Twist?

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What are the Regulations?

The Regulations have been introduced to regulate better how licensed football agents operate across FIFA’s member associations, focusing mainly on the growing amounts spent on agent fees, preventing conflicts of interest between clubs and players and improving transparency. The key changes are as follows:

  1. The Regulations impose a cap on agency fees which means that the maximum an agent can take on a transfer above £161,000 is 3% commission and 5% for deals that are less than £161,000. If an agent is representing a seller club, they could stand to make up to 10% of the transfer fee. The cap was challenged for being anti-competitive, but this was rejected by the Court of Arbitration of Sport, who saw it as an effective way of FIFA realising its 2020-2023 vision. 
  2. Dual representation is still generally prohibited but is permitted when acting for a player and buying club in the same transaction, subject to both parties giving prior written consent.
  3. Agents will be required to pay an annual licence fee to FIFA, which is required to continue acting as an agent. On top of this, there are also personal development requirements that need to be completed in order for the licence to remain in force. 
  4. Under the previous Regulations, a company could qualify as an ‘intermediary’ however, the new Regulations stipulate that it is only individuals who can be agents.  
  5. All agent fees must be paid through the FIFA clearing house, to promote transparency.  

FA Announcement

Agents from CAA Base, Wasserman, ARETE and Stellar have joined forces to oppose the new Regulations in the UK. As a result, the FA has delayed the implementation of the Regulations and will instead wait for the outcome of the legal challenge, which we expect will be published towards the end of November 2023. Similar challenges are ongoing in Germany.  

If the legal challenge fails, the new Regulations could be in force in readiness for the January 2024 transfer window.  

If you require any advice on general sports law or the FIFA Agent Regulations or National Football Agent Regulations, please contact our sports team