FA to rule on share ownership
Friday 07 January 2005
The Football Association is set to launch an initiative against allegations of corruption within the national game by introducing new rules that will forbid employees of football clubs from owning shares in player agent companies.
They hope that the move - which will also prevent agents from investing in football clubs - will put a stop to fears that managers could potentially make a personal profit from signing a player who is represented by an agency in which they have a shareholding.
However, the plans, which would be introduced in time for the summer transfer window, would be difficult to enforce. Many managers who have owned shares in public limited player agencies have done so through brokers who have kept their identities secret.
The issue has been highlighted in the past two years when it was revealed that managers such as Kevin Keegan, Sir Bobby Robson and Graeme Souness had, at some time, owned shares in Proactive. The company, which is the player representation arm of Formation plc, counts Wayne Rooney, Nick Butt and Andy Cole among its clients.
However, the company, which was floated by its founder Paul Stretford in April 2001, was valued earlier this year at around £12m and it is unlikely that any of its high-profile investors would have made much of a profit. The notion that a manager could dramatically move an agency's share price by buying one player represented by that company has been dismissed.
In the current depressed transfer market some player agencies that were floated in the boom time of the late 1990s have seen their share price fall so low that they have become the subject of management buy-outs and taken private.
The wider question of regulating agents' activities has always been problematic for the game's governing bodies who have had little help from the clubs. While Manchester United have published their payments to agents, and the Football League will release their clubs' agents' fees next week, the rest of the Premiership have remained secretive.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger 'optimistic' of making signing, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Edinson Cavani linked
Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2: Jose Mourinho uses forward Kenedy at left-back as frustration with Chelsea defence grows
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2: Blues' Twitter account jumps the gun, seconds before Joel Ward goal seals Eagles' victory
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2 player ratings: Who was to blame for Chelsea's defeat? Did Pedro impress on his home debut? Sako and Ward star
- 2 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 3 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up