Yeovil Town have continued their trend towards only paying out nominal fees to football agents, according to figures published by the Football League today. The Glovers spent just £6,000 during the 2010-11 season on agents - a small increase on the spent during the 2009-10 season.
That's not the lowest in the division - Hartlepool United didn't pay out a penny, whilst Dagenham and Redbridge paid out £1,175, whilst Rochdale paid the same as the Glovers, however it is predictably dwarfed by some of the big guns at League One level.
Seven clubs paid out six figure sums, with Sheffield Wednesday's £415,660 getting them nowhere other than another season in League One, whilst Southampton (£359,144) and Brighton and Hove Albion (£303,495) might feel they got better value. Huddersfield Town spent £252,609 for their play-off place, whilst Charlton Athletic's £216,725 bought them a 13th place finish in League One - above the Glovers on goal difference. Perhaps more perplexing is that the other two clubs to spend a six figure sum were Notts County who forked out £167,040 on just about avoiding relegation, whilst Swindon Town's £132,435 bought them a place in League Two.
All of this comes against a background where spending in League One increased slightly, with £2,347,749 being paid out to agents compared to the £2,241,771 figure for 2009-10. Overall in the Football League, payments are spiralling upwards, with an aggregate of £16,658,976 being paid by all 72 clubs combined, compared with £12,739,867 a year ago and £8.8m for the 2008-09 season - meaning that payments have doubled in the past two years. Football League Chairman Greg Clarke is obviously concerned about these figures, and has said today:
"These figures show that a considerable amount of money continues to leave the game through payments to agents. This highlights the importance of the work Football League clubs are doing to establish a 'breakeven' business model across all three divisions. No-one is trying to prevent clubs from paying agents where they feel it is appropriate, however we must make sure that clubs are not spending money they simply do not have."
The question will be how much the Football League can control that spending under their new Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) that has now been introduced into League One for the 2011-12 season, albeit without sanctions being applied for this season. League One clubs are limited to spending 75% of their turnover on player salaries this season, whilst from next season sanctions will be applied against clubs, with the threshold stopping to 65%, with 60% being applied for the 2013-14 season.
Clubs who breach the salary capping rules will have a transfer embargo placed on them until they can get their house back into order. In League Two, the capping has been reduced down to 55% for this season, with sanctions applying immediately. In the Championship, clubs have agreed in principle to adopt UEFA's Financial Fair Play framework, although no date or details have been disclosed as to how and when they will start to fall in line with the rule, which applies to all European clubs entering the Champions League and Europa League.
As far as individual transactions are concerned, Yeovil Town registered a total of 35 contracts during the 2010-11 season. These were recorded as 13 new player contracts, one updated contract, whilst eight player contracts were cancelled. In addition, the League record that there were 13 loan deals - we're wondering if Youth Loans are included in those figures, given that in terms of players arriving, Yeovil Town used 17 players on loan last season, with one of those (Paul Wotton) being eventually converted into a permanent transfer.
Link: 18/08/2010 : Glovers Agent Payments Down, But League Payments Go Up.
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