Professional Certificate Programme for Sports Agents

Weekly course

Duration: 10 weeks, 6.30-9pm Thursdays

Course dates: Winter cohort: 30 January-2 April 2020

Full fee: £1,800

AFA members/Loughborough alumni: £1,500

Location: Loughborough London

Programme details

The course will focus on the three core pillars of the agency profession and market. Each session will begin with a tutor-led theory session followed by hands-on case study activities.

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

Session 1: Becoming an agent: Regulations and Registration

This session 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 ow regulatory breaches can be avoided. 

Session 2: Contracts: Representation and Employment Contracts

This session 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. 

Session 3: Contracts: Employment Contracts and Commercial Contracts

Building upon knowledge and understanding gained in session two, this session 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. 

Session 4: Complying with Regulations: Representing 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 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.

Session 5: Complying with Regulations: 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.

Session 6: 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.

Session 7: 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. 

Session 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.

Session 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. 

Session 10: How to succeed 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. 

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.