Oyston reveals Pool’s policy on agents

Karl Oyston
Karl Oyston
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Karl Oyston insists he has nothing against paying fees to agents, despite Blackpool being the only Championship club not to.

A league table of clubs’ payments to players’ agents was published by the Football League yesterday, with the Seasiders at the very bottom.

Championship clubs paid £18.5m to agents last season but not a penny came from Oyston’s Pool.

By stark contrast, Blackburn Rovers dished out more than £3.5m yet only just avoided relegation to the third tier of English football.

Despite Pool’s stance, chairman Oyston insists he is willing to pay.

“I have no issue with paying agents who do a good job in bringing their clients to our club,” he told The Gazette.

“A number of agents have fees agreed with us for modest payments, but only if we are promoted and their client has played in half the games.

“There’s a bit of a myth that I’m totally against paying agent fees – I’m not.

“Often the agents don’t even turn up. They just sit in their offices in London and try to bully us into paying £50,000 or £100,000 for signing a player. Usually there are 10 or 15 other players we can sign who don’t come with the agent’s fee. It’s about getting value for money.”

The report reveals Blackpool completed 29 player transactions last season, with 14 new signings, two updated contracts, three contract terminations and 10 loan deals.

Oyston has been criticised for his tight control of funds at Bloomfield Road, but he feels it’s important all deals are done for the club’s benefit and not the players’.

He said: “Sometimes you find players sat in comfort on big three or four-year contracts.

“They get this money regardless of how they play or behave at the club.

“At Blackpool we want to empower Paul Ince to get the best out of his squad. We do that by giving people positive incentives to play well and then be rewarded.

“It works both ways. It’s good for us but it’s also good for the players, who know that if they work hard and we do well, they will be rewarded.

“Other clubs may well have some players who work hard and do well, yet other players who contribute little, if anything, get the same.”

Two of the three teams who won promotion last season, Crystal Palace and Cardiff, spent over £1m on agents, as did Leeds and Nottingham Forest.

Overall spending on agents by Championship clubs rose by £521,125.

Football League chairman Greg Clarke hopes clubs only pay fees they can afford.

“Again, this is a considerable amount of money to be leaving the game,” he said.

“However, the real challenge is to ensure that such payments are part of a sustainable financial model.

“In conjunction with clubs, we’re making real progress towards this goal and now have all three divisions operating Financial Fair Play regulations.”