Hand shake

Loughborough University launches a world's first professional education programme for sports agents

Loughborough University and the Association of Football Agents (AFA) will launch a unique professional certificate for aspiring football agents later this year.

serhat yilmaz

Dr Serhat Yilmaz will lead the course

The joint educational venture aimed at anyone who wants to gain a qualification as a sports agent is believed to be the first partnership of its kind between a higher education institution and professional trade organisation.

The 10-week course will begin on October 4, 2018, at Loughborough's London campus, located within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, near Stratford.

Participants will learn about the legal and practical workings of what it takes to succeed in the business.

The programme will be based on three core pillars of the agency profession and market:

Regulatory frameworks

Covering legal frameworks governing agents in different sports and explaining how to comply with the regulation

Contemporary legal issues

Analysing a range of issues including player/athlete representation and contracts, dealing with minors, financial crime and corruption in the transfer market, and betting and match-fixing and how to deal with them

Business practices

Explaining the practicalities of being an agent including negotiating transfers, approaching clubs, managing parents, understanding the psychology of players, and expanding a professional network

Course leader and former agent Dr Serhat Yilmaz, of Loughborough’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS), said: “The programme intends to raise the professional standard of the agent market through education.

“The number of agents within the sport industry has significantly increased over the years, but there is still a lack of constructive initiatives helping them to develop and maintain knowledge and skills to operate in a very dynamic and international transfer market.

“The programme aims to fill this gap, and is staffed by some of the industry’s most experienced legal practitioners and serving professionals.”

Loughborough London

The course will start at Loughborough's London campus in October

Barrister Nick De Marco QC of Blackstone Chambers, Mel Stein of Clintons and the President of the AFA, Daniel Geey of Sheridans, William McAuliffe of Levy Kauffman-Kohler are all part of the programme teaching roster.

Also leading modules are Loughborough academics Professor Chris Harwood and Dr Elisavet Manoli.

The AFA chairman Mike Miller said: “We are very pleased that an education course is offered now for our members. We have been advocating for a better regulatory framework of agents in football with an element of continuous education.”

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

Further information on the course and how to apply can be found here.


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 18/112

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2019, 7th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.