League plans to make clubs reveal agents' fees

Clubs will have to declare all payments made to agents and other intermediaries under radical new proposals drawn up by the Football League. The information will be made public with the aim of bringing greater transparency to clubs' financial dealings. The League hopes its new measures, which could be in place by next season, will cut the risk of corruption in transfer transactions and improve the game's image.

The Premier League has no plans to introduce any such measures for its own clubs - the country's highest spending, most powerful clubs - preferring to leave these particular legislative matters to the Football Association, which is reviewing transfer procedures.

"The clubs of the Football League have given their board of directors a clear mandate to address the growing levels of concern and innuendo amongst football supporters about transfer dealings," Sir Brian Mawhinney, the Football League's chairman, said yesterday. "The amount of money leaving football, by way of agents' fees, needs to be a matter of public debate.

"It is fundamentally important to the future of football that those who invest in the game either emotionally or financially have absolute confidence in the business integrity of this sport."

The new arrangements will make it compulsory for clubs to register all financial details concerning individual transfers with the League. At the moment, clubs only need to inform the League of direct payments to other clubs and of payments to players under the terms of their contracts. Under the proposed rules, it will be mandatory for clubs to specify all payments made to third parties. In an attempt to encourage good practice the League will publish, twice a season, a list of total spending by individual clubs on agents' fees.

"By registering these payments and opening them up to public scrutiny we hope to take an important step towards establishing a new era of good governance in the football world," Mawhinney said.

At least 50 per cent of the Football League's 72 clubs (as well as at least 50 per cent in the First Division) must vote for the new proposals to enable them to come into force. A League board meeting on 8 September will discuss a draft of the regulation changes. The clubs will discuss the matter at an EGM on 25 September at Oxford's Kassam Stadium. A vote should be taken by no later than the League's AGM next summer.

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