Professional Certificate Programme for Sports Agents

Online course

Duration: 4 months

Dates for Next Cohort: Starting on 28 January 2021  

Full Fee: £1,800 

AFA Members/Loughborough Alumni: £1,500 

Location: Online 

Language: English 

Live Classes: 12 online live classes every Thursday between 18:30 and 21:00 (BST)

Please note there will be no sessions on 1, 8 & 15 April due to the Easter holidays.

Programme details

This unique online programme is delivered via our bespoke e-learning platform specifically designed for your optimum online learning experience. 

The programme consists of e-learning activities including videos, regulatory e-guidelines, case studies, reports, and articles alongside 12 live online classes delivered by the members of our programme team. 

The course will focus on the three core pillars of the agency profession and market.

Regulatory frameworks

You will study the legal frameworks governing agents in different sports and how to comply with them.

Contemporary legal issues

You will explore issues including player representation, dealing with minors, financial crime and corruption, betting and match-fixing – and how to deal with them.

Business practices

You will investigate the practicalities of being an agent including transfer negotiations, approaching clubs, and expanding your network.

Programme content

We recommend that you complete all reading and e-learning activities from each study week, ahead of the following live online class.

Introduction Week

This is your orientation week and you will be learning about our e-learning portal, the way to study the programme, and introduced to others in the cohort. 

Study Week 1: Regulations and Registration

This week is about regulations governing sports agents. We will look at the notion of governance of sport with a view to putting regulation of agents into context. We will analyse some real-life examples of regulatory breaches committed by sports agents and the disciplinary process that followed to illustrate how regulatory breaches can be avoided.

Study Week 2: Representation Contracts

This week will introduce the legal notion of contract and analyse representation contracts, comparing the AFA standard Intermediary-Player Representation Contract and the basic approved contract by the English Football Federation. It will also look at Club-Intermediary Duality and Tri-Partite Agreements which could arise or be a precondition of a transfer.

Study Week 3: Employment and Commercial Contracts

Building upon the knowledge and understanding gained in session two, this week focuses on other contracts that sports agents should be able to comprehend. A standard Premier League/EFL player employment contract will be examined and differences in the National League and lower league playing contracts will be outlined, as well as potential issues in the case of relegation. 

Study Week 4: Dispute Resolution in Sport

This session will look at disputes between sports agents and players/clubs or other agents and how they can be resolved, usually by arbitration between the parties. The session will examine the difference between disciplinary disputes and disputes between agents.

Study Week 5: Representation of Minors

This session will kick start the programme's focus on some of the key legal issues affecting the activities of sports agents, with a particular focus on the representation of minor athletes (those under the age of 18). It will underline what sports agents need to do to be allowed to represent minor players and the restrictions and exceptions applicable to the transfer of young players within football’s transfer regime. 

Study Week 6: Corruption and the Agent Market

This session will introduce the topic of corruption and its manifestations in sport. Aspects and expressions of corruption that are particularly relevant to sports agents will be discussed, as well as grey areas within them, including match fixing, player ownership and compensation regulations. Participants will gain a deep and critical understanding of the various manifestations of corruption and the ways in which such incidents can be avoided. 

Study Week 7: Talent ID: Working with Talent

This session will focus on the background and basis for the prohibition on third party investment before examining the applicable rules and how they apply.

Study Week 8: Managing Athletes’ Parents

The session will focus on the agent’s role and skillset when working with and managing the parents of talented and prospective elite athletes. It will consider the experiences and demands of sport parenting that explain different forms of parental behaviour, before considering the potential responsibilities of sports agents. There will be discussion on ways in which agents can optimise their relationship with parents. 

Study Week 9: Negotiating Transfers

This is a practical session that will look at the workings of transfer markets, with a particular focus on transfer negotiations. The session will give the participants a practical understanding of how to negotiate deals and an insight into key aspects of transfer negotiations. 

Study Week 10: Succeeding in the Agent Market

This will be a panel session with speakers presenting about various aspects of being an agent in practice. The panel will comprise of academics researching in the area, agents, scouts and club representatives. 

Study Week 11: Q&A Session

This one-hour Q&A Session will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you have about the up coming assessment.

Why study this course?

It's ideal for existing registered and prospective sports agents, the programme will help you to:

  • transition into the agency market
  • gain a holistic understanding of being an agent
  • develop and improve your understanding of the regulations applicable to you
  • advance your professional skills

There are no formal academic prerequisites for the programme, however some business experience and numerical proficiency are recommended.

This course is accredited by CPD UK and is worth 25 CPD points.