A Footballers Word Is Not His Bond
Former Walsall winger Jake Jones did a huge about turn last week, thanks to intervention and a better offer elsewhere (Tamworth do now look the favourites to sign him) despite agreeing terms with the Imps. The club had even been willing to contribute to the young lads expenses and fully expected him to honour a verbal commitment to sign for the club on Friday. We Imps can hold our heads up high here, because a handshake and a verbal ‘yes’ is the gentlemanly way of doing thing sand a credit to our club, even if it may leave egg on the faces of a hard-working director and manager’s. That is why the two new arrivals, who look to be coming through the door to sign today, are not signed until the Ink is dry. Sharpen your horns, shine your hooves, onwards, upwards, Sincil Salivates……
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Footballers, like musicians, do in many cases require professional representation to help them through the legal jungle of the contract. They also keep them in work, because it pays them to. However the nature of agents remuneration at BSP level, makes for an incredibly short term view. With the agent getting 10% of the weekly wage they are living on tenners, not thousands like the big boys, taking what lads chasing the dream can ill afford. So a 1 year deal will benefit them as they can get an agents fee for smoothing the deal as well as a cut of any signing on fee. In some cases there is also a transfer fee. The agent may also have to pay out part of their percentage to additional representatives who are not official agents and can therefore not conclude deals.
This cut from a players point of view will mean that they will jump at the chance of another 100-200 a week, even if a lower paying club is looking longer term. The Imps are looking to develop young players, therefore, although the wages may not be at the top of the pay bracket, they will in the medium and long term gain. This could be in terms of a better club in the medium term. Here an agent will also chance a one year deal if it will take the player passed the U-24 clause that is protecting the Imps with a player or two.
To many in the game a player and agents word is still his bond. Not all agents are as bad as they are painted with many looking long term. Many are not into the get rich quick or pyramid nature to the transfer world. They are also terrific sources of information for amateur journalists, who share their genuine love and optimistic view for the future of the game, However at this end of the market, quantity can clearly kick quality into touch with every £20 – £90 a week counting towards the overall pot. But as one agent said to me this morning.
‘I see players like a fruit cake, that needs the right time to mature. Every baker will tell you things need time to rise. Then, see, everyone’s slice of the action can be bigger. The player will be right, not a bench warmer, but someone who is getting the right guidance and playing to his full potential because the team’s style suits him. Its hard, less wedge short term, but you get the longer term money and the saticefaction of knowing you’ve done right by the lad”
Oh and of course it will be to the long term betterment of the player and the people’s game. But then some will sleep well at night whatever the day has brought in.