Several football agents were been pictured leaving ExCel London after sitting a FIFA exam they must pass to keep operating in the game.
Agents need to successfully navigate the hour-long, rigorous exam in order to keep their licence, leaving hundreds of them sweating on their futures in the game.
Should the hopefuls mess up Wednesday’s test they will have the chance of a resit in September, but fail that and they will not be allowed to be a licensed agent.
This will bar them from transfer and contract negotiations as well as speaking to clubs, players and players’ families, unless in the company of a registered agent. The exam comes on the back of FIFA’s decision to re-regulate the industry, following its deregulation in 2015.
And on Wednesday, hundreds of agents took the exam with Mail Sport picturing their arrival and departures.
Dele Alli’s best friend and agent – Harry Hickford (right) – was one of hundreds of football agents pictured leaving their FIFA exam they must pass in order to keep operating in the game
Agents must hope they have successfully navigated the hour-long, rigorous exam in order to keep their licence, with hundreds of them left sweating over their futures in the game
The exam comes after FIFA’s decision to re-regulate the industry, after its deregulation in 2015
Agents smile after the one hour exam, despite fears that fewer than 20 per cent could pass it
The FIFA exam comprisesed 20 multiple choice questions and has a pass score of 75 per cent
Among them was Dele Alli’s best friend and agent, Harry Hickford, while Team AJ’s Michael Jarman – who lists Arnaut Danjuma, Patrick van Aanholt and Lionesses star and Euro 2022 hero Chloe Kelly among his clients, was also there.
Elsewhere, former Sheffield United defender and coach Chris Morgan was snapped in attendance at ExCel London.
After FIFA deregulated the industry eight years ago, there was an influx of new agents who only had to pay £500 to register with the FA, with some questioning the quality and motivations of some of these individuals.
There are fears that up to 80 per cent of participants could fail the exam although some long-serving agents are ‘exempt’. Prior to 2015, the same test had a pass rate of less than 20 per cent and agents fear the ratio will be similar.
This means the number of licenced agents, which currently stands at more than 2,000 in the UK, is likely to take a drastic cut when October’s deadline for passing the paper comes around.
The exam comprises 20 multiple choice questions, has a pass score of 75 per cent and candidates have access on their laptop to a 528-page study document containing FIFA regulations.
The key aspects include rules on transfers, training compensation, working with minors, the agent licensing system, commission caps, conflicts of interests and disciplinary and legal systems.
However, agents have told Mail Sport it is not as easy as locating the necessary pages — even with the ‘find’ function shortcut — and is more about understanding the question and interpreting what is often complex language.
Several agents were also pictured arriving at ExCel London on Wednesday ahead of the exam
This included Michael Jarman (with coffee cup) who is part of Anthony Joshua’s entourage and lists Arnaut Danjuma, Patrick van Aanholt and Lionesses star Chloe Kelly among his clients
Ex-Sheffield United defender and coach Chris Morgan (second from left) was in attendance
Agents check in ahead of the rigorous exam, with fears up to 80 per cent may fail it
An official helps to direct agents at ExCel London, with hundreds undertaking the £300 exam
The FIFA website containing a mock paper crashed for a period on Tuesday, with so many users attempting to access the portal for last-minute cramming. Some agents even hired lawyers to help them with revision.
It is anticipated that many players’ parents who have represented their sons in recent years – such as Mason Mount’s father Tony – will not be taking the exam, or could struggle to pass it. In fact, Tony Mount has partnered with agent Neil Fewings.
Mail Sport has been told this will be welcomed by many in the game, especially as family members can become emotional during negotiations.
There were also questions over whether Mark Bellingham – who Mail Sport understand has been studying for the exam in an effort to represent his son, ahead of a widely anticipated summer transfer away from Borussia Dortmund – and Harry Kane’s brother Charlie, who represents the England captain – would attend.
Insiders also told Mail Sport they can see the pros and cons of the move to re-introduce the exam.
One agent said: ‘The idea of removing those who have only entered the industry in recent years, and with the prime motivation of making money at any cost, is a good thing.
‘But the test does not make allowances for good agents who perhaps don’t have the academic experience to pass this sort of paper, which is very complicated and not particularly relevant to the day-to-day workings of an agent.
Mason Mount’s father Tony won’t take the exam as he has partnered with agent Neil Fewings
‘The mock questions generally concern things you do not need to know immediately.
‘It is unfair in that regard, in that you are being scored on things that do not really prove your credentials as an agent or otherwise.’
Those who fail the test can also remain employed by their agencies in a consultant capacity, but sources say they could become a burden to employers, given the need for licensed colleagues to accompany them on agency matters.
A total of 6,586 candidates from 138 member associations applied to take Wednesday’s one-hour exam – which costs £300 – at various locations around the world.
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Sports Event Casino Handicap Description
|PK||0||It means not giving in to each other, and winning 1 point wins all.|
|0-50||0/0.5||Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses 50%.|
|0 loss||0.5||Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses.|
|1+50||0.5/1||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 2 points.|
|1 level||1||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the two teams will tie and win by 2 points.|
|1-50||1/1.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 2 points.|
|1 loss||1.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins by 2 points.|
|2+50||1.5/2||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 3 points.|
|2 flat||2||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the two teams will tie and win all 3 points.|
|2 losses||2/2.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 3 points.|
|3+50||2.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 3 points.|
|3 losses||2.5/3||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50%, and all 4 points win.|
|3 levels||3||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the two teams will tie and win all 4 points.|
|3-50||3/3.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 4 points.|
|3 losses||3.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 4 points.|
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