Mr Agent: Yes, I've got a reputation but I ALWAYS stick to the rules

14 July 2011 03:12
Sam Stapleton, an FA licensed players' agent and co-founder of Star Management Signings Ltd (right), has signed up for Sportsmail to give our readers an agent's insight into the transfer window and football's big talking points.

Read his views throughout the summer.


When I was first approached to do this column I expectedpeople to mention my 'run-ins' with the FA and it's only fair I tell you aboutthem.

It's one of those things that I have become used to.Whenever I have a first meeting with someone, and they have taken at least oneminute to Google me, then it's the question that inevitably comes up'Sowhat happened?'

I've been charged twice by the FA. My first charge was in2007 over an issue in the summer or 2005 when we moved Gabor Gyepes to Wolvesfrom Ferencvaros in Hungary.

In the past: Cardiff defender Gabor Gyepes' move from Ferencvaros to Wolves in 2005 presented an issue

We had only just started up our company and weissued an invoice charging VAT when we weren't in fact VAT registered at thatpoint. When we realised we paid Wolves back the VAT immediately.

However thedamage had been done, I was found guilty in 2006 of false accounting by themagistrates court and then in 2007 the FA suspended me and fined me. It was atough early lesson to learn and since then everything has been looked at veryclosely by our accountants that we have now worked with for many years since.

The most recent affair was when we took Zoltan Gera toFulham. I was charged in October 2009 for something that happened in July 2008.

It was basically on a dual representation issue, which atthat time was against the regulations, however the FA changed the regulationssix months after it happened, and so if I had done the same thing six monthslater I wouldn't have been banned for six months and fined ?75,000. Dualrepresentation refers to representing both the player and the club.

However, rules and regulations are in place for a reasonso I should have been more careful. But I'm still stuck with a reputation.

Under scrutiny: Zoltan Gera's switch to Fulham caused a stir with the FA

The FA release the full document online so everyone cansee it, which they are allowed to do, but it doesn't help me moving forward.

What happened doesn't have any bearing on how I lookafter my clients and this is proved by them all standing by me and my company.It seems that there aren't many agents out there who are building successfulcompanies that haven't at some point come under scrutiny from the FA.

I've beenin this business for nearly 10 years now and at an age of 31 I've still gotmany years to go. These issues are behind me and will stay there.

Zoltan Gera will be moving again this summer and mycompany has been very careful to make sure that everything has been done theright way.

PRE-SEASON IS THE BUSY SEASONSo what's been going on with the agency this week?Reading and Middlesbrough are both off to Slovenia for their pre-season toursso we have been busy organising that.

MR AGENT ON TWITTER Click here to follow StarMSignings

We have looked after the captain ofSlovenia, Robert Koren, since 2006 when he came to West Brom from Lillestrom inNorway. Through Robi we found some ideal training facilities in Slovenia. Areascalled Moravske Toplice and Ptuj. Perfect hotels with excellent facilities andimpeccable service with suitable pitches nearby.

Slovenia is a beautifulcountry and right next door to Austria, where a lot of other teams seem to go.Slovenia being a fraction of the price.

Previously West Brom, QPR, Chelsea,Hull, Leicester have all taken teams out there.

CLOSING THE DEALWe continue to work on two Premier League deals that wehope to finalise soon. Further down the leagues Josh Parker, a 20-year oldstriker, has also made an impression at Oldham so we await to see if there isanything we can do there.

He loved the set up and the manager so I hope we cando something. Kiernan Hughes-Mason an 18-year-old striker did well at Yeovilbut the manager feels that he won't fit into their formation so we willcontinue to look elsewhere.

On the lookout: Antigua international Josh Parker is hoping to find a new club this summer

Both Kiernan and Josh were due to go off withAntigua for international duty over the next week. However, Kiernan's nowdecided that, despite the opportunity, it is more important for him to try andfind a club here so he will stay behind. Josh is still going. Fingers crossedno injuries will occur as it's an important time for him. I've tried talkinghim out of it but he wasn't having any of it!

We took Paulo Sousa over to Videoton in Hungary and hewon his first game in charge, winning the SuperCup 1-0 with a goal in the 84thminute. Unfortunately they lost 2-0 against Sturm Graz last night but perhapsin Hungary for the second leg they have a chance. They had plenty of chances butcouldn't make them count.

Hungary for success: Former QPR, Swansea and Leicester boss Paulo Sousa is now managing Videoton

We are looking for a goalkeeper at the moment for anEnglish club who need one on a free. We have one in mind and will see if theshoe fits.

As you can see, lots going on. A lot of plates spinning,typical for this time of the window. If you don't have anything spinning by nowthen you'll have a difficult window.

REQUESTS AREN'T WORTH PAPER THEY ARE WRITTEN ONThere has been alot of talk about transfer requests thisweek. I personally don't think they are of any importance. They are just publicrelations words for the media and fans. Clubs put pressure on a player to issuea transfer request so that they can say to the fans that they had to let himgo.

Enlarge The truth is that behind closed doors they have already had a chat with theplayer, the player has said that he wants to leave, the club say, okay, for theright money you can go, but you have to put in a transfer request so we saveface with the fans for letting you go.

Why does a club need it on paper beforeunderstanding that a player wants to leave? There's no contractual obligationto a club to let a player go once he has made a transfer request. It'snonsense.

Sort it all out behind closed doors, agree an undisclosed fee and theplayer leaves. Why keep an unhappy player at the club?

I know of a player whowanted to leave a club but wouldn't put in a request. Instead in training,whenever he got the ball he would just kick it off the pitch.again and again.It was agreed that afternoon that he could leave and a fee was agreed!

 Mr Agent: Inside the world of transfers with Sportsmail's expertThe Insider: Greek teenager catches Redknapp's eye as QPR move for FoggiaRedknapp dismisses Modric's transfer request and says club won't budge CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR FREE FANTASY FOOTBALL GAME

Source: Daily_Mail