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Burnley Keep Agents At Bay

New Regulations for Premier League clubs require publication of annual spending reports after the 30th November every year and this is the first time the figures from top-flight clubs have been published.

Information provided includes the amount spent on agent fees, an indication of relative transfer activity amongst the 20 Premier League clubs.

This is nothing new for the lower league clubs in the Football League who first began publishing this information five years ago but it now makes interesting reading for the Clarets who are in the top flight this season for the first time in 33 years.

The full list is provided below but as you might have expected Burnley are propping up the table in terms of the amount spent on agent fees.

Our figure of just under 470,000 is swamped by the spending by the top club, Manchester City who weigh in with a massive 12,874,283! How fitting therefore that the Clarets should be the one to get a draw at Eastlands recently, which tends to prove the theory that you can spend dosh like the clappers but not necessarily buy a team that gels together quickly.

The data refers to the period of spend between October 2008 and September 2009 so in our case refers to spending in our last Championship season as well as covering preparartion for our first season in the Premier League during last summer's transfer window.

The Official Burnley FC website have clarified that the amount is an aggregate of all payments made to agents during the reporting period for agency activity including payments made by the club on behalf of players.

It will be interesting to see what the view of Clarets fans will be on these figures. Will we have a smug satisfaction that the club are spending the money wisely, justified by our current position in the Premier League or will the feeling be that the club should be spending more to guarantee our survival in the top flight? I should imagine many will be sitting on the fence at this stage and will only be making forthright comments once our fate is known in May 2010.

If you feel like commenting sooner though tell us below this article or in our forum what you think about these relative figures and how they might effect our top flight status.

Total money spent on agents (from Oct 08 - Sep 09)

Manchester City - 12,874,283
Chelsea - 9,562,223
Liverpool - 6,657,305
Tottenham - 6,066,935
Wigan - 5,527,548
Arsenal - 4,760,241
West Ham - 3,576,972
Portsmouth - 3,184,725
Bolton - 3,166,611
Everton - 2,008,407
Sunderland - 2,007,040
Aston Villa - 1,708,374
Blackburn - 1,610,885
Hull - 1,599,188
Manchester United - 1,517,393
Fulham - 1,469,258
Wolves - 1,235,703
Birmingham - 974,982
Stoke - 716,042
Burnley - 468,398

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 1 2009

Time: 7:37AM

Your Comments

No surprises really,certainly as far as Burnley are concerned. The only slight surprise is maybe Man United who are way down the table. If we survive, the Burnley FC figures for Oct 09-Nov 10 are likely to make more interesting reading. Interesting also is comparing this table with the current league table. Money does not guarantee success on the pitch seems to be the obvious conclusion!
I guess this means Mark Hughes has spent more on agents than we have on players? Very interesting. If Sir Alex can keep the costs down then so can we!!!!!!
Yeah no surprise for us, but wouldn't have put Wigan above United and Arsenal.
I personally am surprised the figure is so high. In the timeframe talked about - I would imagine we have spent less than 10m on players and therefore this figure is about 5% of that. Is 5% about the standard. If we went through the table would we find that the figures are approx 5% of transfer fees spent?
Agents are parasites.
Grimsby Claret
Would it be 5% of transfer fees spent, or of fees on contracts renegotiated as well? Maybe there were also some payments that kicked in because we were promoted. Certainly Kilby has talked about such payments to players. Wigan must be high because of the money they spent that had been generated by selling Valencia (and others?)... as Dale says, it's a % of money spent, not money spent minus what comes in. Better to go down with sound fincances than stay up for 12 months unsustainably? I'd say that the one common factor shared by clubs who've dropped a second time into League One is that they've lost sight of the importance of sustainability.
Couch Potato
I know some players can't put petrol in their car without speaking to their agents but we seem to have quite a few who are reasonably intelligible in interviews and apparently able to speak up for themselves. Equally, some directors / Chief Execs are ruthless business types and tough negotiators but I've never really understood what agents actually do and, more to the point, why they get paid so much for doing it.
I have to say that the sooner agents get out of football, or at least clubs have to pay them less, the better.
What alternative would you advocate? Players, some of whom are not the brightest, and many of whom are still legally children, do need someone to advise and represent them when massive footballing corporations wave long and detailed contracts in their faces, and move them across international boundaries. It's interesting to compare the globalised and therefore hard-to-regulate world of football with the very heavily regulated world of American Football and baseball, where the leagues takes place (effectively - sorry Canada) in one country.
Couch Potato
I am sure clubs could provide advice centres for young footballers and guide them through their careers just like we all do working for corporate companies. There is something to be said for going back to the 60s/70s where the club 'owned' the players and were not at the mercy of the money-grabbing agents. It will of course never happen,sadly!
...and don't the PFA offer a negotiation service for their members ?
Where there is a will...trouble is there is no will!! :-(
Interesting point, RT, if the service is any good. (Thanks for reminding me, tmp, that I need to rewrite my will!!! :) )
Couch Potato

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