Clubs spend $500 million in agents fees - FIFA

FIFA's logo is seen in Zurich
FIFA's logo is seen in front of its headquarters during a foggy autumn day in Zurich, Switzerland November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

MANCHESTER, England, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Soccer clubs spent $500.8 million in fees to agents in 2020, more than in the previous year, despite a drop in spending on transfers, FIFA said in a report published on Wednesday.

FIFA said that club spending on transfer fees shrank for the second year in a row, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that "this decrease did not carry over to spending on intermediary service fees, which remained on the same level as in 2020 and even slightly increased by 0.7%."

European clubs accounted for 95.8% of the total spent on 'intermediary service fees', with clubs from England ($133.3m), Germany ($84.3m), Italy ($73.5m), Spain ($34.8m), France ($30.3m) and Portugal ($29.3m) responsible for 77% of the total sum worldwide.

The FIFA report comes as world soccer's governing body is seeking to alter regulations for football agents.

A third draft of the changes has been distributed and is out for consultation -- it includes an exam and licence scheme and caps on payments which would also have to go through the FIFA Clearing House system.

Agents' fees would be capped at 10% of all transfer-related payments and 3% of a player’s salary for services to a player.

The proposals have been criticised by a number of prominent agents but are set to be put to FIFA's ruling council for approval in the first half of 2022.

Reporting by Simon Evans Editing by Toby Davis

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