Between October 1st 2009 and September 30th 2010, Premier League clubs spent in excess of £67million on agent fees. Within this period, these clubs made 742 transactions, and although each one did not necessarily entail an agent fee, the vast majority will have done.
Fees paid to agents arise for various reasons, but are usually the result of clubs interested in acquiring or negotiating player registrations. These fees are also sometimes paid by clubs on behalf of the player involved, and are often paid to facilitate the outward transfer of players, whether it be domestic or international, permanently or temporarily.
Of the £67million spent, it is hardly suprising the likes of Chelsea and Man City are two of the three biggest spenders, whilst Blackpool, West Brom and Wolves make up the bottom three. However, despite not spending significant amounts on transfer fees in this period, Liverpool spent over £9million on agent fees, the second highest out of the Premier League clubs. The Hodgson signings of Meireles, Poulsen, Cole and Konchesky plus the departures of Mascherano and Benayoun were likely to have contributed to this hefty sum, and must surely be deemed excessive, especially considering those players brought in.
Liverpool rivals Manchester United on the other hand, are ranked 13th in the table having spent only £2.3million on agent fees in the same period. Although only Chris Smalling and Javier Hernandez were United’s notable signings in this period, the list of players leaving the club either permanently or on loan over the 13 months is somewhat extensive, and it seems rather surprising then that United have been able to keep their agent fees so low.
Both Liverpool and United have spent large sums of money in this transfer window and we can safely assume that on top of the transfer fees, both clubs will have paid significant amounts to the agents of these players. Whilst Liverpool will be hoping to reduce their expenditure here, United will be looking to keep their payments to a minimum – at the moment, United are able to justify their expenditure through their success on the field; Liverpool cannot afford to keep spending highly without the silverware, or even a top four finish, to boast.