The Price of Success

Last updated : 13 January 2005 By The Rambler


Derby County paid out £204,500 in agents’ fees between July and December 2004 - £74,500 less than the first six months of the year, despite the signings of key players.

It was the seventh highest amount in the Championship, according to Football League figures released on Thursday morning.

The Football League Agents’ Fees Report shows that clubs committed £5,024,789 to agents’ fees in the last six months of 2004 – the previous half-year period saw clubs commit £1.4-million.

Championship clubs accounted for 88% (£4.4-million) of the total, with 471 player transactions, 143 involving the use of agents.

Derby County paid out £279,000 in fees between January and June 2004, the highest in the Football League. Despite a dramatic rise in the amount paid out in fees for the second period by League clubs – from £1,412,437 to £5,042,789 – the Rams have recorded a reduction in payments that leaves them behind Leeds (£1,553,668), Leicester City (£405,000), Wolves (£360,125), Sunderland (£251, 720), Preston (£217,000) and Reading (£211,450) in the agents’ fees table.

Derby County’s director of football Murdo Mackay said: "We have strongly supported the drive for transparency in respect of all transactions involving agents and the Football League should be praised for insisting its clubs disclose these figures for publication.

"Once again, we have provided comprehensive information on all our player transactions over the last six months and I am sure all other clubs have been equally as open and as detailed as we have with the Football League.

"The figure relates to transactions involving the likes of Grzegorz Rasiak, Morten Bisgaard, Inigo Idiakez and Tommy Smith, as well as contract extensions, cancellations and loans.

"When you consider the present combined transfer market value of these players - who were all signed on free transfers and who have been an integral part of the success we have enjoyed this season - I believe it represents exceptional value for Derby County football club.

"We will continue to review our procedures in respect of our dealings with agents but, as I have stated previously, they are part and parcel of the modern game and are there to act in the best interest of their players. If we want to attract these types of players to our club, we have to work with their agents."

Football League Chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney said: "This report covers a period during which the transfer market is traditionally busy as clubs, including those whose divisional status has changed, shape their squads for the new season. Therefore these figures were always likely to be higher than for the previous six months and I would expect that pattern to continue.

"Nevertheless, too much money is leaving football through payments to agents.

"This report strengthens the argument of those who believe that football needs an effective regulatory framework to ensure a level playing field for clubs when negotiating with players.

"Deals using agents need to be more transparent, not least so that supporters can understand when agents are genuinely helping clubs to behave with financial responsibility. We are working with the FA to try to achieve that goal.

"By publishing these figures Football League clubs continue to give a lead within the game. I congratulate them on their initiative."