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World Football: Are the Players' Agents Ruining the Beautiful Game?

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 2: Starting lineup for Toronto FC during MLS action at BMO Field against Chivas USA April 2, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images
Abhijit RajaCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2016

Football may be the most popular game in the world, but it is not without its share of problems. 

One of the foremost problems that exists in the game currently is the players' lack of respect for the contracts they sign with their clubs. 

One needs to just look across the Atlantic to the US professional leagues to understand what the statement means.

In leagues such as the NBA or the MLB, the transfers are concentrated around players whose contracts run out and are free agents.

Whereas in football, it more about which player has had enough with playing for a particular club and wants to make a move to a better club.

Agreed, that there are trades in the above mentioned leagues, but it is driven more by the needs of the club or franchise rather than the needs of the players or more specifically their agents.

The football world has repeatedly seen players wanting to force a move through after only a couple of seasons, when probably a major part of their contract with the club is still outstanding.

John W. Henry, the new owner of Liverpool made a statement after taking over Liverpool that the way club football runs is a lot different from the way professional sports in the US is run.

This was because the players there respect the contracts and the clubs can plan based on the contract they have signed with a player.

Whereas in club football, a club may sign a player on a five-year contract, but may not be sure of retaining him for the duration of the contract, like the forced departures of two players in the form of Javier Mascherano and Fernando Torres that Henry had seen.

One does seem to believe that a major part of the problem is the agents that the players have hired to represent them.

Well, one job of the agents is indeed to get the best club for their players and they do that well by spreading rumors that link their clients' names with some top clubs in the hope that some club is conned into signing their client.

But the problems start to arise when the same agents try and brainwash the players into looking for a new club while they are still at a particular club. 

Nowadays, very rarely does one see a player speak out for himself on issues relating to transfers. It is generally the agents who seem to go berserk with the media.

A case in point is the transfer saga relating to Alberto Aquilani, when the player's agent has come out almost on  a daily basis linking the player to one club or the other. 

Aquilani - What colors would he be wearing this season?
Aquilani - What colors would he be wearing this season?Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The agents even seem to go to the media with any kind of interest shown by a club for their players just to get a better deal from their present clubs. 

Though, this seems like a negotiating chip to get better deals, it sometimes leads to the creation of instability in the club like seen recently with the contract saga of Wayne Rooney or even with the departure of Joe Cole from Chelsea. 

Sometimes, the agents do act as a front for the players as the players themselves do not want to come out and talk in public as it would damage their image. But mostly, it seems, that the agents are the ones influencing the players rather than the other way round.

The greater the transfers or the better contracts they are able to secure, the better payments they would receive.

There are certain clubs who do encourage such behavior but such things need to be controlled to bring some sanity to the beautiful game again.

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