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Agents call for return of regulation

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Football agents have called for the return of regulation of their activities.   This may sound like turkeys voting for an early Christmas, but they fear further damage to their already poor reputation.

The Association of Football Agents says that deregulation has created a system 'open to manipulation and abuse', calling for the Football Association to introduce a stricter licensing regime.  

In the past the FA regulated agents representing players and clubs involved in transfer deals.  All agents operating in England were required to sit an exam before being awarded a license.   However, in 2015 the FA handed responsibility for regulating agents to Fifa, just as it was facing its own corruption scandal.

One leading football agent told the Financial Times, 'The managers don't make the decisions any more. It's now the chief executive or some intrernet whizz with no experience but who can analyse players on a computer.'

Agents are unpopular for the high fees they command and the money they take out of the game. However, many markets need intermediaries to function properly, even if they are often the most unpopular participants (think estate agents).