Mr Agent: You can't wage war with football's money grabbers

21 July 2011 05:05
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.


This week there has been a lot of talk about Atletico Madrid's Sergio Aguero being on wages of ?210,000 a week. He is rumoured to have settled for ?156,000 with Manchester City. It is of course such a massive amount of money but I'm glad that the player has shown a willingness to drop his demands.

We have a slight issue in this country with regards to tax. The majority of players abroad are paid net and it is a massive shock when you have to explain to them that they will lose 50 per cent of their wages when they play in the UK.

This does highlight the inflation of wages, however. Carlos Tevez supposedly earning close to ?250,000 a week in his new contract signed last season is a milestone, as was his ?200,000 contract signed a year before.

To put this into perspective, the average wage in the Barclays Premier League last season is a reported ?33,000 per week, a long way from George Best earning ?1,000 per week in 1968.

Hands up who wants a pay rise: Argentina's Sergio Aguero looks likely to take a wage DROP to join Manchester City

The progression has taken a while but of course the creation of the Premier League sped things up. In '92 John Barnes picked up ?10,000 per week, in '99 Roy Keane ?50,000 per week, in 2001 Sol Campbell received ?100,000 and last year there was Tevez with ?200,000. The scale is forever increasing and I'm not sure it will stop.

TV money seems to have hit a plateau, for now. The new 'Salary Costs Management Protocol' (SCMP) will try to curb the growth, or at least make it controllable by the clubs. This basic, wages versus revenue system should be employed throughout the English Football League by 2014.

Premier League teams already have to adhere to UEFA's rules if they want to compete in UEFA competitions. However, the teams that are fighting for relegation have no need to apply.

Last season every club applied apart from Blackpool. Blackpool were very sensible last season, employing a ?10,000 maximum wage ceiling, and very nearly stayed up. League Two already employ the SCMP system, League One have agreed to do something similar this season, and The Championship hope tohave it in place for next season.

League Two was 60 per cent wages against revenue last season and 55 per cent this season. It is similar to what the top clubs have to adhere to when entering UEFA's competitions.

Billion dollar man: New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez earns ?20m a year

The wages versusrevenue rules and regulations will always be tested by clubs and peoplewill be employed to ensure that ways are found so that everything is maximised without breaking the regulations.

You can always see why people question the ?400m deal done between Etihad and Manchester City, as this will make it a lot easier for them to spend more on wages. The debate is why not?

If the club generates the money then why not spend the money on wages and better players? That's life. Some people make more money than others and can therefore spend more, however, it does need to be controlled.

Perhaps there's alot we can learn from other sports, believe it or not The Premier League is not the highest paid sport in the world.

In 2009 there were only two Premier League teams in the top 30 teams in the world based on average salaries. Manchester United at No 14 and Chelsea atNo 4.

The respective average wages were ?55,000 and ?70,000 a week. In 2009 the New York Yankees averaged ?90,000 a week, with Alex Rodriguez paid ?20m per year!Eat your heart out, Wesley Sneijder.

After my last article, a few people asked if a player putting in a transfer request would relinquish any payments due to them. It would depend, but there's nothing in a set contract to prove that this is the case, I haven't heard of clubs putting this in their contracts but it's possible.

I still believe that this is would be a waste of time. If the club wants the player to relinquish payments then why not do it and agree it behind closed doors? There is no need todrag it out into the press through the whole process of a transfer request.

Reading between the linesI am away at the moment with Reading FC on their pre-season tour in Slovenia. It is the second year that we have brought this particular club out here and they seem to be very happy.

I wanted to comment on how impressed I have been with the club. The manager Brian McDermott and his staff create such a good working environment that the players know exactly what is expected of them and they thrive on the responsibility.

Happy campers: Brian McDermott and his Reading team will be gunning for promotion

The training is of a very high standard; high intensity and very impressive. The manageris a very good man manager and his staff around him are exceptional at what they do. They make what they do seem easy. The players buy into what the manager and the staff are trying to do and every player will talk and mix among one another.

Believe me this not a common thing within a group of 25-30 players. I really wish them the best of luck this season as they are working very hard and deserve it. They aren't a club with a lot of money, although they do generate a lot through their cup runs, play off finals, players sales, etc.

MR AGENT ON TWITTER Click here to follow StarMSignings


A bad nameReputation of players came up at the agency this week. We have a player that did very well in a trial game, the manager liked him, made some calls and decided not to offer him a deal due to what someone told him about his character off the pitch.

The lad is only 19 and he was devastated when he heard the news. I think it's unfair fora lad to be judged on little things he did whilst growing up. Everyone deserves a chance and a fresh start, I'm sure we have all done things that we regret early on in our lives.

Look at Dale Jennings, he was released as a schoolboy by Liverpool and was in a bit of trouble off the pitch, he joined Tranmere and has now moved to BayernMunich.

He turned his career around. Players like that should be highly commended. Our player has another opportunity at a club this week so we will see what happens.Hopefully, they will realise his potential and see past any 'reputation'as I believe the lad has ability and a willingness to prove people wrong.

I for one know all about how a so called reputation can work for or against you in thisbusiness, so I wish him all the very best.

Source: Daily_Mail