‘Trust me I am a Football Agent’. The discursive practices of the players’ agents in (un)professional football
Kelly, S. and Chatziefstathiou, D. 2017. ‘Trust me I am a Football Agent’. The discursive practices of the players’ agents in (un)professional football. Sport in Society. 21 (5), pp. 800-814. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2018.1400767
|Authors||Kelly, S. and Chatziefstathiou, D.|
While the public and media attention is largely focused on the corruption scandals of high-ranking officials in international football, FIFA’s decision in April 2015 to deregulate football agents raises further concerns about its ability for self-regulation and governance.
FIFA’s introduction (2006) and subsequent updating (2008, 2015) of its regulations and legal frameworks governing the activity of agents in professional football has important implications on the inner workings of international football. In this regard, FIFA’s decision to deregulate the industry is perhaps a reflection of the neoliberal influences surrounding the organisation to let the agents govern themselves and deal with the wrongdoings of the alleged bribery, exploitation and trafficking of young players. However, the deregulation of agents by FIFA can also be seen as the organisation’s inefficiency to maintain the primacy of self-regulation and self-governance in serious matters of the industry, such as agents’ global leadership and regulation of practices.
This paper, using qualitative data collected from players, agents and managers from professional football leagues in the UK and Ireland, aims to uncover the unethical, extremely complex and deceptive sides of the agents’ industry. By doing so, it aims to emphasise the need for gold standards of practice and leadership in the regulation of international football, which desperately needs to restore its integrity.
Two key issues are unpacked: (i) the alleged (un)ethical behaviour of football agents that provokes so much hostility in the football world; (ii) the power shift(s) from clubs and managers to agents and players and the implications these may have on the ethics of the business practices in football.
|Journal||Sport in Society|
|Journal citation||21 (5), pp. 800-814|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2018.1400767|
|Online||29 Nov 2017|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||04 Oct 2017|
|Accepted||25 Sep 2017|
|Accepted||05 May 2017|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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