The role that agents play in the world of youth football can seem unclear. Consequently, being approached by an intermediary who wishes to represent the needs of your son can be quite a daunting experience. As such we have compiled some relevant information to help you to understand more about the intermediary process and how FA regulations can safeguard you and your son.
What is an Intermediary?
An intermediary is any natural or legal person who carries out or seeks to carry out intermediary activity. They are more commonly referred to as “Agents”. You do not need to use an intermediary to represent your son but if you choose to do so then they must be registered with The FA.
What is the minimum age that a Player can be represented by an Intermediary?
An intermediary cannot approach, directly or indirectly, or enter into any agreement with your son in relation to intermediary activity before 1st January in the year of his 16th birthday. Therefore, this means that in contrast to current laws, intermediaries may enter into agreements with 15 year olds from 1st January in the year they turn 16 even if they are not in their final school year and an intermediary cannot be paid for representing your son until he turns 18.
Who can be an Intermediary?
Any natural or legal person who registers with The FA. An intermediary cannot be a Player or an official of a Club and all intermediaries must satisfy The FA of its “impeccable reputation” as set out in the Test of Good Character and Reputation for Intermediaries.
Can an Intermediary represent a Minor?
In order to deal with minors, an intermediary must obtain additional authorisation from The FA where DBS checks need to be completed and approved. It is against the regulations for someone who does not have that authorisation to represent your son if your son is under 18. Intermediaries not granted authorisation can continue to work with adults only. Always check using the link below that the intermediary is approved to work with minors:
Signing with an Intermediary
If your son chooses to sign with an intermediary, then please ensure that you are given a copy of the representation contract and that it is signed by the intermediary and dated. You should check the terms of the contract closely and seek legal advice if required. A representation contract with an intermediary should be for a period of no more than two years and if your son is under the age of 18 must be signed by yourselves or a legal guardian.
What should you do if you feel you have received an approach from an Intermediary
Intermediaries should be engaging parents at the earliest stage of trying to recruit a player to their service, however they will sometimes approach players directly using social media such as Snapchat and Instagram to make first contact. This is not restricted to older players and concerns have been raised by parents of players as young as 12 years old. Please refer to the following points below if you have any concerns:
- Discuss with your son the risks of engaging in any communication.
- Encourage your son to tell you or anyone at the Club if they have received such communication.
- If you are considering using an approved intermediary, always ask for a reference first and then check against it.
- If you are still concerned, contact a member of the Academy Safeguarding Team or contact The FA directly on 0844 980 8213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Safeguarding Team