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Football Agent service fees reach all-time high of $888.1 million in 2023

In 2023, football clubs around the world made history by spending an unprecedented amount on football agent service fees. According to FIFA’s Football Agents in International Transfers Report, the total expenditure reached a staggering USD 888.1 million, surpassing last year’s figure of USD 623.2 million. This represents a significant increase of 42.5% and sets a new record in the industry.

European clubs dominated the agent market, employing the majority of club agents and accounting for 86.6% of global spending. Among them, English clubs were the top spenders, collectively paying over USD 280 million in agent service fees. Saudi Arabian clubs followed closely behind, investing USD 86.0 million in engaging-club agents.

Interestingly, women’s professional football also witnessed a milestone in agent spending. For the first time ever, clubs in this sector exceeded USD 1 million in agent service fees, reaching a total of just under USD 1.4 million. This marked a significant increase of over 20% compared to the previous year, with a record number of 125 transfers involving club agents.

Furthermore, the report highlighted a record-breaking number of international transfers involving agents, totaling 3,353 transfers. This accounted for 15.4% of all transfers and represented an 8.4% increase from 2022.

Overall, the significant rise in club agent service fees demonstrates the growing importance and influence of agents in the world of football.

In order to promote transparency in the football transfer system, FIFA releases an annual report on football agents. This year’s report is particularly significant as it includes detailed analysis of agents’ involvement in international transfers, as well as valuable information about the recently implemented licensing system.

The process for obtaining a license and becoming a football agent under the FIFA Football Agent Regulations (FFAR) began on January 9, 2023, and was open to all individuals. During the reporting period from January 1, 2023, to November 30, 2023, FIFA received a total of 19,973 license applications. Out of these applicants, 9,207 individuals took the exam on either April 19, 2023, or September 20, 2023. The first exam was conducted across 138 member associations, while the second exam took place in 157 member associations. Among the 9,207 exam takers, 32.6% successfully passed the exam.

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