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Damien Delaney reveals how clu...
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Damien Delaney reveals how clubs exploit agents to rid them of players

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

22:20 22 Feb 2020

Agents have quickly become modern football's bogeyman. 

Challenging VAR for the position of football's biggest pantomime villain, the agent is often blamed when fan-favourite players begin to make murmurings to leave their club.

"The agent must have got in his head." "The agent is a bad influence." All said, ignoring the fact that often the agent is acting under the orders of their boss – the player.

Paul Pogba's bad attitude to Manchester United is often linked to the press outbursts of his agent Mino Raiola.

Jack Grealish's agent, Jonathan Barnett, was cited as hugely influential in convincing the Aston Villa midfielder of all the extra sponsorship that could be earned as an England star.

The narrative running through it all is that fans, clubs and even countries are all victims to money-hungry agents who arrive to upset the apple cart and transfer their players away.

However, speaking on OTB Football Saturday, former Crystal Palace defender Damien Delaney revealed that clubs exploit the benefits of agents just as much as players do.

"Football clubs use agents just as much as players use agents," he explained, beginning a story that unveils how modern clubs employ agents to their dirty work.

"I guarantee you, come the end of the season if a club needs to have a clearout they'll put six names on a list and distribute that to agents and say we'll give you 'x' amount of money for every one of these that you can shift.

"So independent agents who don't even represent a player now have the mandate to go and ring around every club in England and say do you want this player, this player, and this player.

"So sometimes you would get calls from agents who aren't even yours and then you know straight away what's after happening. You would get a call saying: 'I might be able to move you.' And you're like, 'I'm sorry, who are you? You don't represent me.'

"And they're like, 'but yeah, I think I can get you a move to so and so.'

"Because he has the mandate he has already made the phone call to the buying club, he has put the deal in place. So that is how they insert themselves into deals that are absolutely nothing to do with them."

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