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.

News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
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

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star