Loughborough University and Johan Cruyff Institute launch two unique online programmes for sports agents

Loughborough University and Johan Cruyff Institute have teamed up to launch two unique online programmes for sports agents in 2023: a programme for sports agents endorsed by the AFA, with CPDUK certification starting in March, and a preparatory course for the new FIFA Football Agent examination that will be available from May.

Last July, the two institutions signed a collaboration agreement to develop and deliver online sport management programmes that provide participants with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to operate professionally in the sports sector.


This four-month programme provides delegates with the knowledge and skills required to understand what it means to be an agent in practice and to be able to operate within the sports agency market. The course is endorsed by the Association of Football Agents (AFA), the representative body for football agents in England, and it is also certified by the CDP Certification Service in the UK. It incorporates three main topics: regulatory and legal frameworks, contemporary issues in sport, and business practices and skills. Under the supervision of the academic director, Dr. Serhat Yilmaz, lecturer in sports law, the program team consists of leading academics and industry experts including Prof Chris Harwood (professor of sports psychology), Dr Argyro Elisavet Manoli (senior lecturer in sports marketing and communications), Nick De Marco KC (Barrister at Blackstone Chambers), Daniel Geey (partner at Sheridans), William McAuliffe (head of disciplinary at UEFA) and Richard Allen (senior football executive and technical advisor at Yokohama FC).

The programme provides a comprehensive analysis and understanding of the world of sports agents, gives delegates access to leading expertise and helps them to develop a strong network of contacts in this area. It is aimed at active sports agents, future agents and sports industry professionals in general, who want to broaden their knowledge of how the sports agency world operates.

“I am delighted to launch the two programmes in collaboration with Johan Cruyff Institute,” says the academic director, Serhat Yilmaz. “As two leading institutions in the world of sport working together on agents’ education means that we are able to offer enhanced learning experience for our delegates with amplified support during studying our programmes and after as alumni. By offering the training course for the new FIFA Football Agent Examination, alongside our flagship Professional Certificate Programme, we have created an educational pathway into the football agent profession. We will be driving the professional standards of the agent industry forward by these programmes and through our collaboration.”


This course provides the regulatory knowledge and preparation required to succeed in the new FIFA Football Agent Examination. Under the new proposed FIFA regulations due to be adopted early in 2023, a football agent license can only be obtained by passing the new FIFA examination as a pre-requisite to working as an agent in professional football. Delegates of this programme will gain a thorough understanding of the key football regulations that form the basis of the FIFA football agent examination.

The course is structured in four modules that can be completed from anywhere, in a maximum time of 12 months. The course is designed by Dr Serhat Yilmaz, a lecturer in sports law at the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS) at Loughborough University, who is a regulatory expert in the field of football.

The programme is specifically for those agents who need to pass the FIFA football agent examination to maintain or obtain their license.

“Through these new programmes, we aim to further extend our learning services to professionals in the sports agents’ sector. Together we want to secure high-quality standards for the benefit of sport in general, and for the players and sports agents specifically, by providing them with an all-round education and a solid preparation to carry out their jobs successfully,” says Mariël Koerhuis, general manager of Johan Cruyff Institute.

Loughborough is one of the UK’s leading universities, with an international reputation for impactful research, 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 system, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Since opening in 2002, Johan Cruyff Institute, founded by the iconic Dutch footballer, has trained athletes, sport managers and other professionals in sport management, sport marketing and sponsorship, football business and coaching.