Are European Soccer Agents Set to Eclipse Their American Sports Counterparts?
In Europe, soccer eclipses any other sport for players’ salary and agency commissions. Much like baseball, football and basketball in the United States, the focus on developing young talent in order to capitalize on success and build upon the growth of potential superstars is the fulcrum to many grassroots clubs. The system is somewhat different in Europe, however, as the conveyor belt of talent seen in basketball or football in the U.S is not associated with college scholarships.
In respect of soccer in Europe, the average transfer fee of a player in any of the top tiers of European football has skyrocketed. England’s Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s Bundesliga lead the pack in terms expenditure with sponsorship, wages and television rights naturally rising as a result. Oil-rich buyers investing massive amounts of funds in acquiring the best talent on the continent has also seen the trend of the cream of the crop in the sport moving from club to club more frequently, much to the glee of high-class agents.
Elite Soccer players in Europe are among the wealthiest athletes on the globe, meaning that their agents are also seldom out of pocket. There is no cap or limit to what agents can charge and it is common for these agents to represent a number of players across various leagues in Europe. The demand for instant success makes for clubs rejecting the academy system that saw teams such as Manchester United in England and Barcelona in Spain dominate for lengthy periods. In team games, this will always be the case. An individual sport such as golf will have different demands. Be it the PGA Championship or the Siegfried and Jensen Utah Open, agents do not have the same level of interest in participants in team sports.
Earlier this year, Forbes announced that, for the first time in five years of compiling agent’s rankings according to earnings, baseball mega agent Scott Boras was not the number 1 agent on the planet. Germany’s Constantin Dumitrascu has catapulted himself up those rankings having overseen the transfers and contractual negotiations of soccer stars such as Juventus’ Douglas Costa and Paris Saint-German’s Uruguayan striker Edison Cavani.
Having represented his clients in $1.08 billion in contracts as of mid-2017 earned Dumitrascu more than $100 million in resulting commission and took his Mondial Sports Management to seventh place on the Forbes’ 2017 list of the World’s Most Valuable Agencies. The trend of inflated transfer fees look set to continue to rise and rise, meaning that agents such as Dumitrascu will continue to see their commissions increase in value.
2018’s figural representations will undoubtedly see a sustained upward trajectory for soccer players’ transfers and contracts, as the desire for buyable success eclipses long term plans and growth. Should the hectic trend continue, it will not be long before we witness a list such as Forbes’ dominated by European agents.