An analysis of The FA Football Agents Regulations and the RFU Regulation 8 (Agents) – Part 2

Published 16 January 2014 By: Charles Maurice

England Football Team After Goal

In this two part blog, Charles Maurice reviews The Football Association’s (“The FA”) and the Rugby Football Union’s (“RFU”) agent regulations. In part one, Charles highlighted the similarities between the regulations and in part two he goes onto look at the subtle differences between them. 

 

And subtle differences…

It is the subtle differences between the two regimes which are most interesting though and, in my view, are a good indicator of where the sports stand in terms of sophistication of regulatory monitoring, which in themselves may (or may not) be a direct result of different financial pressures.

A notable difference is around remuneration – the RFU Regs (RFU Reg 8.7) note that the principal for whom the agent acts is ultimately responsible for paying the agent its fees due under the representation agreement between them, but that this payment may come from a third party on the principal’s behalf, with no restriction as to the identity of such third party. The FA Regs1. are considerably more restrictive on this issue, and a player’s liability to its agent for agent remuneration is payable only by the player or the relevant club, and in the case of the latter only if (i) the player and the club properly fulfil the applicable tax law requirements in relation to such payments; and (ii) the payments are made through the FA’s designated accounts.

This picks up one of the main themes of The FA Regs, that of transparency of action and accountability through proper reporting, ideas which, whilst present in the RFU Regs, are not picked up to anywhere near the same level of detail and perhaps represent an area for future review as a result. Football agents, clubs and players are fundamentally obliged to disclose to The FA the level and nature of the remuneration payments that flow between the parties and The FA Regs contain obligations for such remuneration amounts to be recorded in the accounts of a club (where relevant).

 

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Charles Maurice

Charles Maurice

Charlie is a senior associate at Stevens & Bolton LLP and specialises in the sports, media and entertainment sectors. Charlie advises on a wide range of sporting issues and has particular experience in the motor racing and football industries. 

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