This is looking like it could get ugly. Leading Journalist Damien Barrett tweeted over the weekend that Australian Football League (AFL) agent Ned Guy has departed from Stride Sports Management. This is on the back of last week’s news that Alex McDonald had also left the high profile agency.
A clearer view of Alex’s plans has also come to light, with the pair of Alex and Ned looking to start a new agency. To add to the situation, they want to take their clients with them. This has led former footballer and board member Glenn Archer to launch legal action against Stride’s former employees.
Their client list is strong, and includes 2011 No.2 overall pick Stephen Coniglio, who is destined for a much improved contract when he is due for renewal, and established stars Joel Selwood and Travis Boak.
Stride Sports had 6 accredited AFL agents within their company. With Alex and Ned gone, it leaves just 4 to service the over 150 clients on their list. Not mention the further recruiting efforts for the upcoming draft, which has been touted as one of the best ever.
As I have previously mentioned, an AFL player is signed to the agency and not the agent. However, Section 7.4 of the AFL Standard Representation Agreement states:
“…either Party to this Agreement may terminate it without cause on the giving of three (3) months notice in writing to the other Party. Termination by:
(a) the Player in accordance with this clause shall not exclude the obligation of the Player to pay the Company the Fees the Company is duly entitled to under clause 5.1 of this Agreement for the Term;”
So under this proviso, a player is free to break his agreement with the agency, allowing his to move after 3 months. It will be interesting to see if any clients choose to envoke this clause and jump ship.
A situation of this magnitude is certainly unheralded in the AFL and I will be following it closely. For updates, follow this blog or me on Twitter.