The release of the figures paid out by Premier League clubs to player agents over the last year has come to the fore online this evening, with Chelsea’s outgoings having seen the massive fee paid by the Blues to the agent of Ross Barkley in January come under the spotlight once again.
The story surrounding Three Lions international Barkley’s future at Goodison Park was one of the talking points of last summer in England, after the 24-year-old made clear his intention to depart the club.
Additionally, former Everton manager Ronald Koeman openly admitted that his star midfielder would be moving on, with the Toffees having secured the signature of Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea City on the 16th of August in anticipation of his departure.
This resulted in a straight fight between capital rivals Chelsea and Tottenham for Barkley’s services.
On transfer deadline day, it looked for all intents and purposes as though the former had secured a deal for the in-demand playmaker, with Everton having accepted a bid of £35 million.
However, the transfer surprisingly collapsed at the last minute, with Toffees shareholder Farhad Moshiri revealing in an interview with Sky Sports:
‘Well the two clubs agreed a deal of £35m.’
‘Personal terms were agreed, but after the medical we heard from Paul Martin, Ross Barkley’s agent, that he changed his mind.’
‘And he wanted to reconsider his position during the January window.’
‘That is the latest we have been advised.’
But, less than 6 months later, Chelsea finally managed to push through a move for Barkley, albeit for just £15 million, less than half of what the Blues were willing to fork out during the summer.
This led to major unrest amongst supporters of Everton, with one high-profile Toffees’ fan to have publicly spoken out against the deal having come in the form of Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool.
In a letter sent to both the Premier League and the FA in January, Anderson detailed his feelings of unrest regarding the manner of the transfer, suggesting that the deal was intentionally delayed from the summer until the beginning of this year to drive down Barkley’s worth.
He also hinted at collusion on the part of two or more of the parties involved in the transfer, before requesting that the agreement be looked over once more to ‘to reassure fans that transfers will be monitored more closely in future and that no individuals are benefitting inappropriately.’
And, as mentioned above, the release of the exact figures paid out by every Premier League club between January of last year and this year has since seen the story surrounding the hefty £7 million forked out by the English champions to Barkley’s agent during the winter transfer window highlighted, and called into question, once more:
— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) April 3, 2018
#Chelsea figure of £25m on agent fees in signing 9 players partially explained by £7m agent fee for Ross Barkley – well above average even for them, particularly given transfer fee of £15m. https://t.co/1D9SgKWXUR
— Matt Hughes (@MattHughesTimes) April 3, 2018