The Good, the Bad and the Agent: An Analysis of Player Representation in Professional Football in the UK

Tetrault, Toby J (2013) The Good, the Bad and the Agent: An Analysis of Player Representation in Professional Football in the UK. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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The subject of football agents is shrouded in mystery, with public awareness of the industry limited and only controversy reaching the media; empirical research is needed to provide insight, which is otherwise absent. This paper aims to understand the mechanisms that facilitate transactions for football clubs and whether the principal-agent problem reduces the overall value of a contract, in accordance with transaction cost economics.

A philosophical position of contextual constructivist was maintained throughout the study. Semi-structured interviews are used with actors from the industry and template analysis was applied to answer the aims of the paper.

The paper outlines the mechanisms that are present in the industry that allow players to be placed within football clubs. With a deeper understanding of an agent’s role and duty to their clients, it is shown that the problems associated with the principal-agent theory, such as informational asymmetries and moral hazard are present in the industry. Player agents are shown to both increase and decrease the costs to transact, but are not universally applicable, as not all agents either increase or decrease costs in isolation. This can be simply described as; there are good agents and there are bad agents, that in turn either improve efficiency or not.

The findings underline how in contradiction to the controversy surrounding the subject, agents can be vital to the facilitation of players into football clubs and can also decrease the costs to transact.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Football, Agent, Principle-Agent Theory, Transaction Costs, Interviews, Template Analysis
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2014 13:27
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2016 11:59

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