Soccer Sports Business

The Life Of A Soccer Agent During The Transfer Window

In my last article, I discussed the preparations that I undertook to ensure that my actions during the Transfer Window were as effective as possible.  For those of you new to soccer, the Transfer Windows are the two main periods in the year when soccer clubs can buy and sell players (players on free transfers can sign for a club at any time).  In the MLS we have just completed the mid-season Transfer Window which ran from 15th June – 15th August.  The primary MLS Transfer Window opens on 15th January 2009 and closes on 15th April 2009.

This was an extremely productive Transfer Window for all the obvious reasons but also because it greatly assisted in increasing the exposure of my company, Max Eppel Soccer Agency LLC (“MESA”), via the acquisition of new players.  This was an unexpected bonus (purely because my marketing/PR was necessarily placed on hold during the Transfer Window due to time constraints) but one which any Agent will appreciate because it shows that all the hard work really pays off.  Watching the company grow is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job. Please click on for more information on MESA.

On the same point, I would like to thank Darren and because the 2 particular players that signed with MESA during this Transfer Window discovered my company through my previous contributions to this website.

The actual logistics of a day in my life during the Transfer Window are as follows.  A usual day begins at 5.00am PST wherein I make a cup of tea with tea bags specially brought over from England (even though I’ve been in the USA for just over 2 years and enjoy almost every aspect of American living I’m afraid I’ll never be converted to coffee!).  Once I’ve reviewed the previous day’s notes I ensure that I’m ready to go for 6.00am PST which is when the East coast soccer clubs begin their working days and is just after lunch in Europe.  I also remind myself before each call or email that these Directors of Soccer, Head Coaches and General Managers (“decision-makers”) are extremely busy people.  They will be totally inundated with calls from players, scouts and Agents at this time of year, as well as having to review hundreds, possibly even thousands, of Resumes and DVD’s.  It is important to get the presentation correct.  Be succinct, courteous and enthusiastic whether on the phone or via email.  A degree of persistence is necessary here as it is relatively rare to actually get hold of these people straight away.  Chasing the decision-makers is a major part of the Agent’s job and to take “rejection” personally is fatal.  I have a particularly thick skin which was honed through several years of representing clients in Court in England during my legal career – I had no idea at the time that making complicated legal arguments in front of a Judge would stand me in such good stead in the future.

Once the relationships have been developed between Agent and club it becomes a whole lot easier as the club begins to call you on the back of previous successful placements of players but this only comes with time and it can’t be expected from the outset.

Once I have spoken to the relevant decision-maker and he identifies to me what type of player the club is searching for my job is to then send them appropriate Resumes with DVDs wherever possible.  A degree of judgment now becomes necessary.  There is no point, generally speaking, sending the club players who have not yet played to a high enough standard as they simply won’t be selected and my reputation suffers.  The other side of that dialectic is not to send them players who are already playing at a higher level than that particular club because more often than not the player will not want to sign a contract.  Remember, an Agent’s job is to always act in the best interests of his client.  This must be balanced with establishing a solid working relationship with the decision-makers – not always an easy task.

I can’t be certain without checking how many calls are made and emails sent out per day during the Transfer Window but it’s probably well over 100.  What is exciting is that one never knows which call or email will be the start of the process that clinches the next deal.  There is nothing more rewarding than watching the deal take shape, especially for a dedicated soccer man such as myself.

Once the decision-maker has received the Resumes and DVDs it is then a question of giving them a reasonable amount of time to review the contents and then chasing politely but firmly until a response is given.  This is an important part of the deal-making process.  One doesn’t want to come across as too pushy, but again, it has to be balanced with the fact that a major part of an Agent’s job is to place players at clubs.

If there is interest in the player it then becomes a question of deciding whether the player is good enough to sign a contract with the club immediately or, as is more common, he is invited for a trial.  Once the preliminaries are completed it is then down to the player to perform well during the trial which is of course something the Agent has absolutely no control over.  One thing to be aware of is that not every player will necessarily want to go to every club to which a trial has been arranged on his behalf.  It is crucial to check with your player before undertaking all the work or run the risk of looking unprofessional to the club and indeed your own player by arranging a needless trial.  Whether the trial goes well or not, you will be hearing about it.  If it goes well, the negotiations begin and terms are agreed prior to signing the contract.  If it is unsuccessful, well, it’s straight on to the next one.

By now the day has grown long and most days during the Transfer Window I didn’t move from my desk until 11:00pm on the basis that the daily administrative duties have to be carried out.  Taking careful notes on every phone call made or received, as well as each email sent or received, is a very important, and time-consuming, part of the job and something which I have learned from being a lawyer for over 6 years.  Ultimately, it saves time, though.  I have a file on every club and player with which I deal to ensure that both I and MESA are able to provide the best possible service to all parties.

To sum up – the days are long, with the emotional highs and lows in full swing.  I take my job very seriously in terms of professionalism; this includes staying in regular touch with my players as the deals progress.  For any aspiring Agents out there – remember that you have the players’ careers in your hands and this is not a responsibility to be taken lightly.  The most rewarding part of a long day’s work is knowing that I have acted diligently on my clients’ behalves and that I am doing everything in my power to ensure their careers progress accordingly.  When a deal gets signed off I can assure you that the feeling is worth all the hard work.  I don’t recommend getting into this profession unless you share a passion for the sport which serves as a bridge to success.

Max Eppel is a soccer Players’ Agent Licensed by The FA (England). He owns and manages his own California-based company, Max Eppel Soccer Agency LLC. For more information please visit

10 replies on “The Life Of A Soccer Agent During The Transfer Window”

I have met Max several times. I work with one of the footy teams in the US. Max is a legend. I could tell from the very first time I met him that he’s going to kill it here. He’s very genuine and I get the sense he would work his ass off for his clients. If you want to be an agent in any sport, Max is the perfect role model.

Max is the quintessential expert on soccer and has the heart and mind of a great agent. Thanks for the informative article!

Max is truly dedicated to being the best Soccer Agent that he can. With a wealth of knowledge of European football clubs/players he is well placed to enhance and promote the sport in the U.S. This particular article is written in an excellent way, I for one had no idea of the processes and hours involved during the Transfer Window. I am sure that MESA will be a great success with Max at the helm. He has invaluable experience and knowledge of the legal world, this is a wonderful attribute as few Soccer Agents know the pitfalls in terms of contract negotiations. I would recommend Max Eppel and MESA to any interested party, particularly new players who want the very best.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a bunch of comments on this site that have sounded as fake as the above three.
I don’t dispute that Max might be a solid chap and an agent on the up and up in the footy world but the three prior comments sound like people sounding forced and trying to make sure the article did not go comment-less.

I am currently working on licensing procedures to become a FIFA agent, so i swing by the blog from time to time to see whats out there…Max, this is one of very detailed articles i have read….
One thing that sticks out was the passion for the game itself you laid out at the very end… I believe it substantially helps both up and coming agents’ and players as well….Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Hey, i’m currently on the same path as you. Planning to get my license come March 09. Have you considered taking any preparation courses?

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I know in every county other than the US soccer is something that you dont wait to nurture. What age would you recommend a youth player should be before seeking out agency representation. What if you are interested in getting…say the La Masia’s attention and are willing to go to foreigh soil?  Do you recommend agency represention for that also? Its tough because you want to support the dreams of your kids but youth soccer in the US is a money making racket. Samuel was just asked to the Tony Carr westham united clinic in Santa Clara in JULY. From the calls i have made and the research i have dont it seems to be the best of the best. You have to pay for a player id camp just to get to the clinic which will actually have Tony Carr and his staff there but Sam was invited past the tryout portion based on the stregth of some video I sent that was similiar to the above link. But again it cost money. I just wish kids with talent did not have to be denied opportunities like this due to a parents crappy out of jobs financial status. Is this why all the kids are getting scooped up by foreign clubs?

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