Football disputes between a player and their agent have increased quite significantly in recent times since the change in FIFA regulations in 2015, which saw a change from ‘player agents’ to ‘football intermediaries’.
Agent related disputes are regarded as one of our specialist areas, and as such ‘Sentinel’ are confident that with Agent-Player disputes a resolution can be reached through mediation and avoiding the requirement for a tedious if not complex football arbitration process.
In such a situation, players understandably want to progress their career and just play football rather than having a dispute with an agent/intermediary as an unnecessary distraction.
Meanwhile agents don’t want disputes distracting them from their business in a franetically comepetitive industry, and also the damage to the repoutation of an agent through an unnecessary dispute with a player could be disastrous for relations with other players as well as damaging to their business.
The cost of mediation for a player-agent dispute would typically be hundreds rather than thousands through arbitration.
Sentinel are able to assist with the application of Mediation to a broad range of football related disputes. We have specific specialist knowledge and experience in matters relating to disputes that involve football agents (intermediary) and those matters related to football agent activity.
In January 2023 FIFA announced the reintroduction of the agents license along with new regulations governing agent and agent related activity, and whilst this should be seen as a positive sign we believe it may trigger another surge in disputes relating to agents and football agent activity. This is seemingly reinforced by the fact that FIFA have announced the introduction of an ‘Agent Chamber’ as part of FIFA’s Football Tribunal (disciplinary and dispute resolution) to solely deal with agent disputes of an international dimension.
Sentinel mediators are all recognised and qualified through the CMC (Civil Mediation Council) and/or the IMI (International Mediation Institute). This ensures mediators undertake CPD, follow established standards and employ a recognised complaints procedure.
In addition to this, Sentinel mediators have past experience in a variety of practical roles within football whether it be as club officials, agents, players or as officers of football related associations and bodies.
Given the nature of football in terms of its competitive (both on the pitch and off it) and increasingly lucrative nature; the grounds for disputes have grown as has the sport (and the industry).
Whilst disputes in football have grown in number, value and complexity; the means for resolving such disputes have arguably failed to develop in capacity at the same pace.
Through mediation, Sentinel are able to offer football participants a cost-effective, quick, impartial and confidential means to resolve their football disputes. In addition to this there is no winner and loser in mediation, we like to think of it as a ‘mutually beneficial draw in the group, stages allowing both teams to be content with a place in the next round’.