Norwich City bucking the trend

Paddy Davitt Norwich City's League One title success cost the club �381,000 in agents' fees according to the latest set of Football League figures. The club recorded a total of 57 player transactions during the period from July 1 2009 to June 30 this year covering new signings, loans and the cancellation or updating of existing contracts.

Paddy Davitt

Norwich City's League One title success cost the club �381,000 in agents' fees according to the latest set of Football League figures

The club recorded a total of 57 player transactions during the period from July 1 2009 to June 30 this year covering new signings, loans and the cancellation or updating of existing contracts.

City were ranked second behind Southampton (�401,248) in the figures released for League One out of a total of �2,241,771 spent across English football's third tier. But the Canaries' outlay on agents for the period which covers their return to the Championship under Paul Lambert, was considerably less than the �526,000 recorded during the previous season (2008/09).


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And it dramatically bucked the trend in a period when Football League clubs spent �12,739,867 on agents' fees - a �3.9m increase on the total outlay in the previous year.

Only three League One clubs (Exeter, Stockport and Tranmere) declined to pay for the services of a licensed agent last season.

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And while the Canaries proved it is possible to cut back on agents fees and still be successful, the overall pattern is a source of concern for Football League chairman Greg Clarke.

“Given the current economic climate, it is worrying to see such a significant amount leaking from the game,” he said.

“It is essential that clubs' work to reduce this liability over the coming campaign.”

Barry Hearn, chairman of Leyton Orient, admitted the sums reflect the realities of the modern game - but believes the time has come to impose some limits.

“What we need is some sort of scale on agent fees because at the moment it is market demand,” he said. “We need a set of rules on the fee structure in much the same way if you go to a surveyor, lawyer or an accountant you know what to expect.”

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