Soccer Agents Got 28% Commissions on 2012 Player-Trade Fees

Agents and other intermediaries received an average commission rate of 28 percent on the 11,555 cross-border player transfers that took place last year, soccer’s governing body FIFA said.

The Zurich-based organization didn’t disclose how much money changed hands in the global transfer market in a year when stars including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robin van Persie, Eden Hazard and Hulk changed clubs. Figures released last year by European soccer body UEFA showed more than 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion) is spent annually on player trading.

FIFA is trying to reform its rules on agents and other intermediaries. A committee on club soccer will meet to discuss “a concrete final proposal at a special meeting” before FIFA’s executive board gets together later this year, a statement said.

Today’s figures, which don’t include trading between clubs in the same country, showed deals between Brazil and Portugal were the most common with Brazilians the most traded players. Both countries allow so-called third-party investors to own stakes in players and benefit when athletes are sold at a profit. FIFA is discussing whether to outlaw the practice and is conducting an assessment that includes verifying the legal impact of imposing a ban.

The governing body also plans to introduce an online platform allowing clubs around the world to showcase talent to prospective buyers directly without the need for agents.

“This will revolutionize the international and national transfer system,” Jacques Anouma, chairman of FIFA’s Committee for Club Football, said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in London at tpanja@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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