Sports Law Advisors

Sports Law Courses

  • BASL_DMU_PG_Course_2016
  • DMU_Sports_Law_And_Practice_DL_LIS_Banner
  • NTU_Logo_500x500_72dpi

How football Intermediaries are regulated in the Netherlands: The role of ProAgent

Published 11 October 2017 | Authored by: Roberto Carlos Branco Martins Matthew Graham

It is often quipped that two things in life are certain – death and taxes. But at the height of the summer transfer window, perhaps a third certainty could be nominated – consternation about the activity of player agents, or "intermediaries" as they have been deemed since 1 April 2015 pursuant to the expanded definition in FIFA’s Regulations on Working With Intermediaries (Regulations)1.

This concerns range from the predictable scrutiny over remuneration,2 to the more nascent question of how deep and pervasive intermediary influence can be at one particular club3. The fall out from the Neymar deal also seems likely to intensify scrutiny on issues intertwined with intermediary regulation, not the least of which is third party ownership.4 Despite being ostensibly banned questions persist about enforcement,5 and the increasingly inventive ways that are being devised to work around the rules.6

The debates on intermediary activity often disguise the bigger picture of how to address the regulatory problems posed by third party representation and what the manner and form of a good governance based approach to such regulation may be. Certainly, serious questions have been raised about the efficacy of the Regulations (aspects of which are revisited later in this article), particularly in terms of how FIFA’s controversial new regulatory approach dispensed with various quality control mechanisms7.

This article explains the recent developments in the Netherlands on Intermediary regulation, which have been arrived at as a product of collaboration between the league (KNVB), clubs (FBO), players’ unions (VVCS and ProProf), and an Intermediary association (ProAgent). It also addresses the wider potential benefits of such a model being implemented across Europe. Specifically, it examines:

  • The Dutch certification system for Intermediaries, and the role of “ProAgent”, the collective representative body;

  • How the certification system has been received: strengths and weaknesses;

  • European implications and the need for broader reform. continue reading register here for free


LawInSport is an independent publisher used by sports lawyers, sports business executives and administrators, athletes and support personnel, academics and students to stay informed of the latest legal issues and developments from the world of sport. It is our mission to improve the accountability, transparency and standard of the administration and governance of sport and the understanding of the law.

Thank you for considering becoming a member of LawInSport, supporting independent media and the promotion well researched, reference and accessible legal information that contributes to greater transparency and accountability in the sport and legal sectors.



Related Articles

About the Author

Roberto Carlos Branco Martins

Roberto Carlos Branco Martins

Roberto is a Partner at Branco Martins Law & Consultancy. The firm has a track record of almost 20 years in the professional sports industry.

Matthew Graham

Matthew Graham

Matthew is an Amsterdam based, Australian sports law consultant. Holding a Master's of International Labour Law he focuses on industrial relations and regulatory issues in sport and has recently been engaged by the Centre for Sports Law Research, the University of Amsterdam, and a boutique sports law firm where he focuses on litigation and dispute resolution.

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.

Official partners 

Soccerex Core Logo
YRDA Logo2
SAC logo LawAccord

Copyright © LawInSport Limited 2010 - 2017. These pages contain general information only. Nothing in these pages constitutes legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter. The information provided here was accurate as of the day it was posted; however, the law may have changed since that date. This information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. LawInSport is not responsible for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.