Another winter and the sale thing around Erling Haaland is recycled again by his agent, Mino Raiola.
The 21-year-old Norwegian striker has provided a blast of goals for Molde, Red Bull Salzburg and, currently, Borussia Dortmund.
His father and guide Alf Eng Haaland, who was once in Leeds, placed his boy with Raiola, probably because he realized he had an asset in his hands and the agent would maximize it.
Raiola works with some of the best players in the world and is known for his bargaining and fearlessness towards billionaire club owners and football officials.
So maybe he believes he can do whatever he wants.
He likes to whisper about his players to his press buddies. That’s why you hear so much shifting Tosh for Haaland, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, for starters.
But is it true that Raiola and its variants should hold a Dutch auction?
This is probably breaking FIFA’s rules and does nothing for football’s reputation. This is further proof that agents are out of control.
Most players don’t mind being treated like commodities on a stock exchange. Would you—if like Pogba—earn the coveted £290,000 per week? Or Cristiano Ronaldo, whose agent is Jorge Mendes, on £480,000 a week?
Entire clubs could operate on such annual wage bills. He means that some ultra-rich clubs dominate and will continue to do so for years. I don’t necessarily oppose it, but I think some leading agents are spoiling the market.
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And I’m sorry to say that we must live with this until clubs like Dortmund shut them down.
They certainly never will, as their business plan is to buy the teenage prodigy and sell it for skyrocketing prices. It seems that FIFA has woken up to this and has resolved to take action.
On Wednesday, the Football Stakeholders Committee and the FIFA Council proposed “to eliminate or at least reduce the abusive and excessive practices that unfortunately exist in football”.
Their goal is to introduce a cap on commission, which is supposed to be three percent of the player’s salary and ten percent of the transfer fee.
They will also block an agent representing all parties, two clubs and one player in a transfer. Raiola was paid by Manchester United, Juventus and Pogba on the midfielder’s move to United.
He is believed to have earned £41m.
Another agent is said to have taken £10m for a sale of £16m.
This is massively blood-sucking and while I know many honest agents, they should be ordered to publish all details of their transactions – not entirely revolutionary for a business that took £500m from the sport last season .
Riola, Mendes & Co are already threatening legal action if FIFA goes ahead with the plans.
And maybe players’ unions will kindly wake up and support their players.
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