Football League clubs splash cash on agents

LONDON - The 72 English League clubs outside the Premier League spent 12.7 million pounds on agents' fees last season, a jump of 3.9 million pounds over 2008/09, said a report published on Wednesday.

"Given the current economic climate, it is worrying to see such a significant amount leaking from the game," new Football League chairman Greg Clarke said in a statement on its website.

"This year's figures demonstrate a considerable increase on those of last season and it is essential that clubs work to reduce this liability over the coming campaign."

The figures were contained in The Agents' Fees Report issued by the League which shows that out of 2,392 transactions between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, an agent was paid 396 times.

Most of the outlay came from Championship clubs, the tier below the Premier League.

They paid 10.1 million pounds in fees, while 2.2 million was spent by League One clubs, and 366,781 from those in League Two, the fourth tier.

Middlesbrough spent the most with almost 1.5 million pounds paid out on 29 transactions although they failed to gain promotion to the top flight.

Their north-east rivals Newcastle United, who won the Championship title, were the only other club to spend over seven figures, paying just over one million.

Southampton (401,248) spent the most in League One, while Notts County (246,483), who won League Two, paid out more than any other club in that division.

Fourteen clubs did not pay anything to agents during the season while a further 23 paid less than 10,000 pounds.

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