There are two times each year when soccer Agents undertake most of their business – during the Transfer Windows. Each country is permitted by FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, to promulgate two such periods and it is during these stipulated times that players can be bought and sold or loaned from one club to another. Players who are out of contract may move at any time.
Here in the USA, the MLS mid-season Transfer Window is rapidly approaching and I have been busy preparing for what always promises to be a hectic schedule. The Window is open from June 15th – August 15th.
In terms of what an Agent does immediately preceding this time, I can of course only speak from my own experience. Here is an overview:
- Confirm that all the Representation Agreements between Agent and player are up-to-date.
- Speak to the players and ensure they are happy where they are, or, if there are grievances, listen carefully and present them with realistic career advice.
- Ensure that all Resumes are current. If not, obtain the relevant statistics and add them to the document. Nothing looks worse than presenting a club with a Resume and then not knowing, for example, how many games one’s client has played this season, or how many goals he has scored.
- Make certain that all the DVD’s are readable and that any links to YouTube, etc., are correct.
Relating back to the technology point made above, one of the biggest and most beneficial changes I have noticed in my time as an Agent is soccer’s increasing willingness to embrace new ways of making the placement process more accurate and more efficient. By accurate, I mean that clubs no longer have to rely on making a judgment based purely on the examination of a player’s physical and sporting statistics included in his Resume and then invite him for a trial or even sign him only to discover that he perhaps was not quite the player they supposed him to be. And as to efficiency – I mean that with the advent of the internet and email there are now so many ways to get a DVD or video clip in front of a Chief Scout or Manager in hardly any time at all. Only last year, I was mailing DVD’s all around the world. This year I have uploaded most of the video clips onto a central website, and from there I can burn DVD’s and deliver them to the clubs almost immediately or send them the password and login information and they can view it for themselves instantly.
Several clubs with whom I deal will not look at a player without video footage, as they simply don’t want to take the risk. Because of this, it is very important to ensure one’s DVD library is current and well-stocked.
Technology adds a much-welcomed element to what used to be a laborious process. It can certainly add a frenetic element to being an Agent, but then, if you’re not willing to have such pressures in your work life you shouldn’t consider becoming an Agent!
Max Eppel is a soccer Players’ Agent Licensed by The FA. He runs his own California-based company, Max Eppel Soccer Agency LLC. For more information please visit www.maxeppelsocceragency.com.