Football agents are evil scum… Tim Cahill’s advisor made outrageous demands when Crystal Palace tried to sign the striker from Millwall

FOOTBALL agents are evil, divisive scum.

Once upon a time I made this proclamation and it ensured a thousand headlines during my ten years as an owner.

Football agents are evil scum… Tim Cahill’s advisor made outrageous demands when Crystal Palace tried to sign the striker from Millwall2 Simon Jordan believes something needs to be done against football agentsCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

I found certain agents to be predatory flesh traders whose sole focus (when not carrying young players’ manbags) was to create division between clubs and players, with the motivation being money.

In the nine years since I left the boardroom, has the landscape changed? Have my views softened? Have such exclamations lost their rather robust resonance? No!

Football has systematically refused to deal with agents. Instead of regulating them like the mid-2000s, football has loosened control over the business as even more money poured in.

Agents can act with what is called duality, working for both a club and a player — and get paid from both ends.

Once outlawed, this now causes all manner of conflicts. At the centre of 90 per cent of controversies, conflicts and corruption in football is the involvement of agents.

There can be managers or chief execs offered incentives to buy a player at a certain price, players egged on to quit clubs, parents given cash and houses and other clubs used as stalking horses for fictitious deals.

They are still not regulated properly and it’s like the Wild West.

Simon Jordan on football agents

I had issues with certain agents, mostly over dividing our club and our player. But also with sharp practices such as Wayne Routledge, one of my young Crystal Palace players, being induced into an agency deal while on England Under-17 duty.

Another agent claimed he had the mandate to sell our England international striker when we got relegated, when the exact opposite applied.

In 2004, Tim Cahill of Millwall was on his way to Palace until his delight of an agent advised me and then Millwall chairman Theo Paphitis that he required a six-figure payment.

This demand was despite Cahill being offered four times his Millwall salary (three times more than we had wanted to pay). The agent then kept a straight face to say he had worked for me.

The agency world is the only part that doesn’t have to make any financial contribution to football.

They are still not regulated properly and it’s like the Wild West.

If I had my way, players would have to pay for their own agents, like we do estate agents.

Agents should also pay a proportion of the revenues as a levy back into the football system.

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Their bank accounts should audited so people getting backhanders can be easily tracked. And players should be held accountable for the actions and behaviour of their representatives.

Could this happen any time soon? Well, blow me down . . . Fifa are putting forward proposals for agents to be re-regulated and fees capped.

It’s not quite the hung, drawn and quartering I would like — but it’s a start.

Simon Jordan’s Final Word is on talkSPORT every Sunday from 5-8pm.

Football agents are evil scum… Tim Cahill’s advisor made outrageous demands when Crystal Palace tried to sign the striker from Millwall2 Crystal Palace attempted to sign Tim Cahill while he was at MillwallCredit: Getty Images – Getty

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