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Clubs spent record $888 million in agent service fees in 2023 – FIFA

SOCCER clubs paid a record $888.1 million in agent service fees in 2023, an increase of 42.5% on the previous year, world governing body FIFA said in its annual “Football Agents in International Transfers” report.

The previous record was in 2019 when worldwide spending on commissions to agents involved in the international transfer of players was $654.7 million. The 2022 amount was $623.2 million.

English clubs were the biggest spenders by far this year with a total outlay of more than $280 million, while 86.6% of the worldwide expenditure came from European clubs, FIFA added.

Saudi Arabian clubs went on a spending spree this year, splashing out almost one billion dollars in the transfer window to lure top players from Europe and they had the second-biggest expenditure on engaging club agents at $86 million.

“The number of international transfers with an agent acting on behalf of the player reached a record high in 2023 with a total of 3,353 transfers,” FIFA said in its report.

“This corresponds to 15.4% of all transfers and represents an increase of 8.4% compared to 2022.”

In a first for women’s soccer, professional clubs spent more than $1 million in agent service fees, with the total reaching just under $1.4 million.

Agents have been at loggerheads with FIFA after they lost an appeal in July to block new regulations that would cap their transfer commissions and introduce exams to secure a licence.

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FIFA said it received 19,973 licensing applications this year with 9,207 taking the exam, which 32.6% passed.

However, an English FA tribunal set up in June ruled earlier this month that the proposed FIFA regulations are incompatible with British competition law.

By The African Mirror