Man City top list of payments to agents

LONDON - English Premier League clubs paid more than 70 million pounds to agents from October 2008 to September this year, according to figures released on Monday.

The figures, in a statement on the Premier League website, showed that big-spending Manchester City paid the most to the middle-men during a period spanning two transfer windows.

Abu Dhabi-owned City, whose signings included Togo international striker Emmanuel Adebayor, Argentina's Carlos Tevez, Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry and Roque Santa Cruz, paid agents 12.87 million pounds.

League leaders Chelsea were next on the list with spending of 9.56 million ahead of Liverpool, who bought and sold Ireland forward Robbie Keane, on 6.65 million.

Champions Manchester United, by contrast, paid only 1.51 million on agents fees while newcomers Burnley spent the least of all the 20 clubs listed - 468,398 pounds.

The English FA welcomed the publication of the figures, which the Premier League said also included fees paid during the period that related to previous transaction costs and contract renegotiations as well as the purchase and sale of players.

"We are pleased that, through these new requirements, clubs are bringing greater transparency to the domestic transfer market," a spokesman said.

"For the first time, there will be a game-wide picture of the level of spending on agents.

"The leagues and other key stakeholders have been fully supportive, following the example set by the Football League with its publication of agents' fees over the last few years," he added.

The Daily Telegraph website said the agents fees represented just over 10 percent of the clubs' total spending on player purchases in the two windows of 682.3 million pounds.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, whose club spent 6 million on agents fees, said the figures were crazy.

"When I see some of the figures banded about it seems like we're in the wrong game," he said. That's the game to be in.

"It's incredible when I see some of the figures, just amazing. Obviously people have made an awful lot of money out of being football agents over the last few years."