Premier League clubs’ spending on transfer fees — the cost of one team selling a player to another — fell from $320 million in January 2020 to $100 million at the same time earlier this year.
But agents’ income tells a much different story. In the past three years, Premier League clubs have spent over $1 billion on agent fees. Agent fees totaled about $240 million annually in 2016, but were more than $376 million between February 2020 and February 2021.
Some clubs have spent enough on agent fees to cover the transfer fees for a new player.
Agents do a load of the work for clubs, including arranging transfers, canceling contracts, moving loans, and negotiating across clubs.
Chelsea spent the most at nearly $50 million on agent fees in the last year. Overall intermediary fees from February 2016 to February 2021 also saw Chelsea on top.
- Chelsea, $138 million
- Liverpool, $136 million
- Manchester City, $133 million
- Manchester United, $115 million
Due to the rising agents’ fees, tax authorities in Britain said last week they are stepping in to look at how intermediary payments are taxed.