Hector Herrera deal could see Nicholas Blair, son of former PM Tony Blair, join top flight of football agents

The midfielder's transfer from Pachuca in Mexico to Porto may have earned former British PM's son around $1m

A call to the phone number listed for Nicholas Blair on the official listing for Fifa agents licensed by the English Football Association takes you through to the London office of his mother, Cherie Blair, where there was no response, official or otherwise, to reports of his maiden million-dollar deal in European football.

The career path of the middle son of the former prime minister is well-known but the suggestion that he made around $1m (£630,000) from a deal involving the Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera from Pachuca, in the country's Primera Division, to Porto has caused raised eyebrows in the agent fraternity. Could a rookie agent with no background in football as a coach, scout or player pull off a deal of that size, even with his gold-plated family connections?

Reporters in Portugal have been briefed by Porto since the summer that when it came to dealing with Pachuca, the 27-year-old Blair handled negotiations on behalf of Herrera. In an intriguing collision of worlds, it would appear that a 23-year-old kid from Tijuana has placed his trust in an Englishman who spent his teenage years in 10 Downing Street.

As is common in transfers of this sort there will be no official paper trail and the trend is that the economic rights of the player, essentially his ownership within the framework of football, are likely to be split between investors and his club.

In England, the agents licensed by the FA are arguably the most heavily regulated in the world. Asked why so few of them did deals in Mexico, one British agent replied: "I don't want to find myself buried up to the neck in sand in a Mexican desert."

Mexico has a reputation for being a difficult market and "Nicky" Blair and his company, Magnitude Sports Limited, will have had to be sure of their connections to ensure that they were paid commission on the deal – in that region of the world, ordinarily 10 per cent of the value of the player's contract. As a perk, that is paid on top of the player's wages.

Any dealings with Porto will involve the club's shrewd technical director Antero Henrique, although it is Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, the formidable 75-year-old president, who has the final say. It is with Henrique that Blair would have been obliged to negotiate not only Herrera's personal terms but his own fee.

Over the last decade, Porto have been arguably Europe's most successful trading club, selling the likes of Radamel Falcao, Hulk, Anderson, Deco, Ricardo Carvalho, Pepe and James Rodriguez as well as earning significant compensation payments from Chelsea for managers Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas. But they have often owned just part of the players' economic rights with third-party ownership, banned by the FA, rife in Portugal.

Blair himself is understood to work with his friend Gabriel Moraes, whom he met at Oxford University at Magnitude Sports Agency, which claims to have offices in Brazil and Mexico. Such management companies in England are generally a loose confederation of agents who, while sometimes working together, have been known to poach clients from one another.

What is not in doubt is that Blair passed his FA agents' exam, which is a requirement of anyone, with an exemption for lawyers, wishing to sign off deals involving English clubs. These exams encompass 20 multiple-choice questions, have a 50 per cent pass-rate and are one way in which the FA tries to regulate an industry with a wild-west culture.

Nicky Blair (far right) with his family outside 10 Downing Street (Getty) Nicky Blair (far right) with his family outside 10 Downing Street (Getty)
In deals involving English clubs, the FA acts as a clearing house for the money paid, including transfer fees and agents' commissions where the norm in the UK is a fee worth 5 per cent of the player's contract. Only when the governing body is satisfied that the paperwork is in order is the money released and the transference of the player's registration completed.

In Mexico it is safe to assume that those kind of checks are not required. Mexican players have not moved to Europe in the same kind of numbers as South Americans because of the relatively high wages paid by the top Mexican clubs, although that is changing.

Magnitude Sports' website says they represent Brazilian players from Desportivo Brasil, an academy that exists to produce players purely for the transfer market and has no senior team. It is owned by the unfortunately named Traffic.

Cherie Blair is a director of Magnitude Sports. In his autobiography, the FA chairman Greg Dyke recalled how, in his days as a Manchester United director, she once rang him to ask him to get her a discount on a United shirt for her oldest son, Euan. He duly obliged.

Magnitude also represents Marco Fabian of Chivas Guadalajara, who could be another potentially lucrative transfer for Blair. But if Fabian comes to an English club, the scrutiny on the size of the agent's fee will be much greater than it was for the Herrera deal.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum