Agent fees almost double for City following promotion - as Premier League total rises again

Swiss striker Josip Drmic, being tackled by Everton defender Michael Keane during this week's 1-0 home defeat, was signed on a free transfer by Norwich City in the summer of 2019 Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/NMC Pool/PA Wire

Swiss striker Josip Drmic, being tackled by Everton defender Michael Keane during this week's 1-0 home defeat, was signed on a free transfer by Norwich City in the summer of 2019 Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth/NMC Pool/PA Wire

PA Wire

Fees paid to agents by Norwich City almost doubled following promotion, as the Premier League’s annual overall figure rose again during 2019-20.

City paid West Ham £750,000 for Sam Byram Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdCity paid West Ham £750,000 for Sam Byram Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Football Association publish payments to registered intermediaries as part of transparency regulations introduced by world governing body Fifa in 2015, which this year show the Premier League’s total rising by almost £3million to a total of over £263m.

Burnley paid the least to agents of all the top-tier clubs, of £3.9m, and fellow promoted club Sheffield United (£4.2m) also paid less than Norwich.

City paid out £4.9m to bring them in below the other promoted side, Aston Villa (£6.6m) with the third lowest total in the top flight.

Those fees pale in comparison to the top clubs though, with Liverpool leading the way (£30.3m) ahead of Manchester City (£29m) and Manchester United (£27.5m).

City’s figure is a rise of around £2.3m on their figure for 2018-19, the season they won the Championship title, when an overall outlay on agent fees for the 12 months was £2.6m and the sixth highest in the second tier during that campaign. That was a slight rise of around £400,000 on 2017-18.

However, City’s figure also includes liabilities for payments to agents connected to deals prior to this period, which is particularly pertinent following promotion.

The intermediary fees are for the period of February 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020, based on fees paid by clubs via the FA’s clearing account.

After winning the Championship title the Canaries handed new contracts to 13 of their promotion winning players but opted to spend cautiously in the transfer market due to the club’s self-sustainable financial model, rather than borrow against the huge fees which promotion to the Premier League brings.

Huddersfield, for example, made £96.6m when finishing bottom of the Premier League in 2019 - which is added to by substantial parachute payments following relegation.

This meant the only fee for a permanent transfer for a first-team player was the £750,000 paid to West Ham for full-back Sam Byram, with Switzerland international striker Josip Drmic signed on a free transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach.

Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts, Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann and Sevilla midfielder Ibrahim Amadou were all signed on loans - all of which would have commanded sizeable wages and fees.

Reports in Spain, for example, suggested a £1million fee was paid for Amadou with the potential for a £9m permanent deal at the end of the season - although after proving unsuccessful the loan was terminated in January.

City’s annual accounts for 2019-20 showed that this summer transfer business, as well as some academy additions, was worth £6.2m and had the potential of a further £4.7m dependent on club and/or player performance.

Further business which followed in January saw the loans of Roberts and Fahrmann cancelled alongside Amadou, with midfielder Lukas Rupp signed from Hoffenheim for an initial fee reportedly worth around £500,000 and Slovakia international midfielder Ondrej Duda signed on loan from Hertha Berlin.

Left-back Sam McCallum was also signed in a deal reportedly worth up to £3.5m before being loaned back to Coventry and striker Dennis Srbeny was sold to Paderborn in a deal reportedly worth in excess of £1m.

City’s senior staff had revealed at the club’s annual general meeting in November that the club was heading for a profit of around £16m for the 2019-20 financial year but following football’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic it was revealed that a potential loss of income of between £18m and £35m was expected.

With the season now having resumed behind closed doors, with season ticket holders and members able to claim refunds, it’s understood that loss is now expected to be at the lower end of that scale.

The overall agents’ figure in the Championship actually dropped by just over £1m to £49.3m - with two clubs paying more in agent fees than Norwich, in Stoke (£5.6m) and Swansea (£5.2m).

PREMIER LEAGUE INTERMEDIARY FEES 2019-20

Total - £263,368,860

Liverpool - £30,308,791

Man City - £29,025,799

Man Utd- £27,560,409

Chelsea - £26,183,337

Everton - £16,942,997

Leicester - £15,367,250

Arsenal - £13,556,101

West Ham - £13,167,647

Tottenham - £12,499,074

Watford - £9,931,479

Bournemouth - £9,512,577

Newcastle - £9,010,554

Wolves - £8,619,016

Crystal Palace - £8,154,437

Southampton - £6,900,365

Brighton - £6,851,867

Aston Villa - £6,692,576

NORWICH - £4,908,930

Sheffield Utd - £4,256,434

Burnley - £3,919,220

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