Agent fee boom
The financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on Premier League football has been mixed. Whilst some clubs have been heavily affected and therefore unable to spend the amounts which they had previously been expected to, others have continued on regardless.
In the transfer window Chelsea still managed to spend over £200 million on bringing in the likes of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz to name but a few.
Interestingly though, it has been the spending of Premier League clubs on agents which is become thrust into the spotlight as the English top flight once again broke through the benchmark set the previous seasons to splash out a staggering £272 million on intermediaries.
Unsurprisingly Chelsea spent the most, upwards of £35 million closely followed by the two Manchester clubs.
Also predictably West Bromwich Albion spent the least, just over £4 million.
The fees associated with agents has fallen in the lower 3 leagues however where the pandemic has had a much harsher effect on the clubs.
NEW: despite the pandemic Premier League clubs’ payments to agents increased to £272million over the last year (from £263m) pic.twitter.com/2OfpiQwST4
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) March 31, 2021
Spending could be set to increase even further after it was announced that Financial Fair Play, the initiative put in place to try and limit the amount of spending done by the biggest clubs across Europe, is likely to be scrapped.
“Covid 19 has generated a revenue crisis and had a big impact on the liquidity of clubs,” said UEFA’s director of research and financial stability Andrea Traverso. “This is a crisis which is very different from anything we have had to tackle before. In such a situation obviously clubs are struggling; they have difficulties in complying with their obligations.
“I think in general rules must always evolve. They have to adapt to the context in which clubs operate. The break-even rule, the way it works now it looks backwards: it performs an assessment of a situation in the past [looking at profit and loss over three previous seasons]. The pandemic represents such an abrupt change that looking to the past is becoming purposeless.
“So maybe the rules should have a stronger focus on the present and the future and should definitely have stronger focus on the challenges of high levels of wages and the transfer market. The solution of this is not easy.”
With this in mind, plenty can be expected of the 2021 summer window with the likes of the Premier League’s biggest spenders set to once again go big with even fewer limits.
This article was edited by Robert Fosterman.
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