IN a day and age where footballers are on thousands of pounds a week and cost clubs millions upon millions, it is no surprise players are quick to seek representation.
Before the growth of football agents, the clubs had all the power. What they said ruled and, if a player didn’t like it, there wasn’t a lot they could do about it. It was their way or the highway.
Now clubs appear to have lost all power to the players and a main driving force in that transition appears to be the role of the football agent.
Agents have a bad name among many supporters - and in many boardrooms - as their push for their players’ interests often is seen as making sure they look after themselves as well.
It is important not to generalise about agents. There are many upstanding individuals who look after their client well and who are respected and trusted by the clubs they serve. There are probably more like than that the bad eggs. Sadly there are far too many who aren’t good for the game.
The growth of unlicensed agents in the game is ridiculous with the people brokering some deals picking up handsome amounts of money for doing very little.
It is often difficult to work out who is actually working for a player, with many having numerous representatives claiming to be working for them.
When Rovers were looking for a new manager, they were contacted by seven separate agents claiming to be representing Sven Goran Erikkson.
He isn’t the only one either. It seems tell a player you can get him the most money and you are on board.
When Chris Samba was at Rovers it felt like he had a different agent every week.
Rovers have certainly spent their fair share of money on agents over the past few years, too much many would say - especially during Venky’s tenure.
Why shouldn’t players have representation if they see fit? If they feel they aren’t qualified to look after the money side of things then of course employ someone who can.
But why should football clubs have to foot the bill? It seems agents get the best of both worlds at the moment.
It would probably never work but, if a player wants an agent then why doesn’t he solely foot the bill and pay for him out of his own salary.
Harry Redknapp described the agent world as ‘gang warfare’ and you can see what he means.
Forget the jokes about Rovers’ fax machine not working, the attempts to sign Jerome Thomas and DJ Campbell would have gone through in plenty of time had it not been apparently for the agents.
Fair enough, they were working to get the best for their player but surely there is an easier way to do business?